Wait! What’s this I see? Hertz car rental in Italy is now offering the use of a Lotus Elise? Wait! Not just any Lotus Elise, but the supercharged version? Oh … dear … God … Calm down. Stay Calm. Breath, just breath.
OK, Chris, boss of bosses, holder of the “limitless” Automoblog corporate checkbook, I only have two words for you:
OK, we’ll get the specifics out of the way first, and then I’ll dig into some serious trip planning after that.
Hertz, the rental car company that probably most of us have dealt with at one time or another has offices all over the world. Their Italian arm thought it was a good idea to offer up the sublime Lotus Elise SC to anybody with the Liras (sorry, Euros) and the inclination to rent one of the little guys.
And no, in case you’re wondering, this was not Hertz idea on its own. Lotus itself has set up a new agreement with the car hire company Hertz Italiana to supply a whole slew of yellow Elise SC for its rental business in Italy. OK, that’s not perfect, they cold have been red, or, if your a Lotus traditionalist like I am, green with a double yellow stripe, but I’m not quibbling. The near-perfect two-seater roadsters will be available to hire from Hertz throughout Italy beginning from the middle of July, which should be right about now.
“For many, to drive a Lotus is to fulfill a lifelong dream and now, thanks to Lotus and Hertz Italiana S.p.A. this dream can be realized for a longer period than just a quick test drive at a Lotus dealer,” said Andrea Manni, director of the official Lotus dealer in Rome.
“We expect some drivers who hire an Elise or Exige from Hertz Italiana S.p.A to visit a Lotus dealership afterwards, as once you have experienced the exciting and adrenaline fueled capabilities of a Lotus, there is no turning back,” Manni added.
We’re not arguing with you there, Andrea, not at all.
Now, where to go … where to go …
Well, Rome is a good place to start, but if they have offices up north, that would be my inclination. Do the old Mille Miglia route: Brescia to Rome to Brescia. Three days easy, but two days would be even more fun. Imagine blasting over the Raticosta pass in an Elise? In through that long straight into Mantua, dip the lights and blip the throttle in memory of “il Mantova Volante”.