Top 10

Richard Heseltine’s top 10 mid-engined sports cars

Armed with a budget of £40,000 per car, here are Richard's Heseltine's mid-engined sports cars of choice. Contains Lotus.
Lotus Europa Twin CamLotus Europa Twin Cam

Lotus Europa Twin-Cam

I am a huge fan of the Europa. It has its flaws, not least the gearchange, but the handling is sublime. I really want one, preferably in Pistachio Green.
Lotus Elise S2Lotus Elise S2

Lotus Elise S2

Yes, another Lotus. I have covered thousands of miles in various kinds of Elise over the years and remain smitten. I must admit to preferring the second-gen styling, though.
Lotus Exige S1Lotus Exige S1

Lotus Exige

See a theme developing? I have happy memories of drives in Exiges, some of them long-distance road trips. That said, they weren’t always (ever) watertight.
Fiat X19Fiat X19

Fiat X1/9

I have a weakness for sporting Fiats but weirdly it took me a while to warm to the X1/9. Nowadays, I really want an early pre-impact bumper car. The problem is finding one.
GTM CoupeGTM Coupe

GTM Coupé

A leftfield choice, I know, but I have a bit of a thing for cars made by Britain’s cottage industry of small-series manufacturers. The Mini-based GTM was – and remains – a pretty little machine.
Renault Sport SpiderRenault Sport Spider

Renault Sport Spider

I really wanted one way back when and still do. They suffer by comparison with the Elise on many levels, but I still think it’s more attractive than the Elise S1 (cue the tar and feathers).
Alfa Romeo 4CAlfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C

Hmm, this may be a controversial choice. I have fond memories of attending the model’s launch on the Isle of Man but most period reviews criticised the 4C for being a bit edgy. I couldn’t for the life of me see what the problem was, mind. I am still unsure of the styling, though.
Porsche CaymanPorsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman

I love older Porsches but am ambivalent about the more recent stuff, the Boxster included. This is the exception. I would have an first-series Cayman in a heartbeat.
AC 3000MEAC 3000ME

AC 3000ME

Hmm, I have mixed feelings about the 3000ME. I loved the styling when I was a young ’un and still do. It looks fab. I am still not completely sold on it as a driver’s car, though, not least because of the gearchange.
Matra MurenaMatra Murena

Matra Murena

This was a car I lusted after when I was a pre-shaver. It has been twenty years since I last drove one, but I still would. I’d have mine in metallic cinnamon.
Armed with a budget of £40,000 per car, here are Richard's Heseltine's mid-engined sports cars of choice. Contains Lotus.
Lotus Europa Twin CamLotus Europa Twin Cam

Lotus Europa Twin-Cam

I am a huge fan of the Europa. It has its flaws, not least the gearchange, but the handling is sublime. I really want one, preferably in Pistachio Green.
Lotus Elise S2Lotus Elise S2

Lotus Elise S2

Yes, another Lotus. I have covered thousands of miles in various kinds of Elise over the years and remain smitten. I must admit to preferring the second-gen styling, though.
Lotus Exige S1Lotus Exige S1

Lotus Exige

See a theme developing? I have happy memories of drives in Exiges, some of them long-distance road trips. That said, they weren’t always (ever) watertight.
Fiat X19Fiat X19

Fiat X1/9

I have a weakness for sporting Fiats but weirdly it took me a while to warm to the X1/9. Nowadays, I really want an early pre-impact bumper car. The problem is finding one.
GTM CoupeGTM Coupe

GTM Coupé

A leftfield choice, I know, but I have a bit of a thing for cars made by Britain’s cottage industry of small-series manufacturers. The Mini-based GTM was – and remains – a pretty little machine.
Renault Sport SpiderRenault Sport Spider

Renault Sport Spider

I really wanted one way back when and still do. They suffer by comparison with the Elise on many levels, but I still think it’s more attractive than the Elise S1 (cue the tar and feathers).
Alfa Romeo 4CAlfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C

Hmm, this may be a controversial choice. I have fond memories of attending the model’s launch on the Isle of Man but most period reviews criticised the 4C for being a bit edgy. I couldn’t for the life of me see what the problem was, mind. I am still unsure of the styling, though.
Porsche CaymanPorsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman

I love older Porsches but am ambivalent about the more recent stuff, the Boxster included. This is the exception. I would have an first-series Cayman in a heartbeat.
AC 3000MEAC 3000ME

AC 3000ME

Hmm, I have mixed feelings about the 3000ME. I loved the styling when I was a young ’un and still do. It looks fab. I am still not completely sold on it as a driver’s car, though, not least because of the gearchange.
Matra MurenaMatra Murena

Matra Murena

This was a car I lusted after when I was a pre-shaver. It has been twenty years since I last drove one, but I still would. I’d have mine in metallic cinnamon.

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