You’ve owned Elise’s previously so you know where they’re at, you simply won’t find a 135r and if you do your budget isn’t enough, unless you go for a shonky one and then you’ll have to spend ££’s on it. Your price point is particularly tricky and that added to the lack of good cars out there for sale really limits your choice. You’ve already discounted S1’s and you state that a 16 year old K will be “risky” I don’t agree, and would have suggested an early 111s(although to find a good car at that price is getting harder to do) but if that’s your opinion it leaves you looking at S2 Toyotas, you might find a 111r for that, but again it will be 05/6 at best and to find a well looked after one under 20k isn’t going to be easy. The 1.6 I had a day with really didn’t float my boat, if it was the first Elise I’d ever driven/owned then it would have been fine to start with, but you really had to thrash the thing all the time to get anything out of it, and of course we’re men and we’re programmed to “bigger is better” I think the 1.6, no matter how good it is would always play on your mind and as you say you’d soon tire of it. Probably just telling you what you already know so not much help I’m afraid.
How big is the boot on an Evora?, could flog the mustang??