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Top 10: Two-seater soft-tops of the 1990s

Although Mazda reinvented the two-seater sports car at the end of the 1980s with the original MX-5, other manufacturers were keen to join this rejuvenated market sector the following decade – with stylish, fun-to-drive creations attracting a new generation of buyers.

Many of these roadsters of the 1990s now offer great value, making them a tempting alternative to an older sports car. We take a look at ten of today’s top sportsters for fans of modern-classic entertainment.

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Lotus Elise

Another two-seater hitting the streets in 1996 was the Elise, a car that followed Lotus tradition by being a compact, lightweight, nimble two-seater. This raw but entertaining sportster featured an ultra-light composite bodyshell, a mid-engined layout and finely tuned suspension for the ultimate in sports car handling. Power initially came from Rover’s 1.8-litre K-series, developing 118bhp and creating scorching performance thanks to the Elise’s kerb weight of just 723kg. A modern-day Elise is still with us, of course, but the original now has a classic following – hence asking prices of up to £15,000 for the best MkI models.

Read our Lotus Elise review here


Caroline Duncombe    on 11 June 2018

I love my BMW Z3 2.8 - its brilliant fun to drive - handles well, has excellent acceleration, loves curves and country roads. OK the soft top is prone to leaking if it pours with rain, but a bit of tape soon puts a stop to that. In another 10 years I may be to ancient to get in and out of it cos it is so low to the ground - but meanwhile it makes me smile and very happy.

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