Say goodbye to the Elise, Exige and Evora as Lotus announces final year of production
They're moving onto a brand new range of sports cars
Lotus has just announced the Elise, Exige and Evora will enter their final year of production before being replaced by an entirely new sports car line-up.
This new line-up will feature four cars, one of which is the upcoming Evija EV hypercar. This new move is part of Lotus’ Vision80 strategy, which will also see the relocation of two Lotus sub-assembly facilities into one efficient central operation in Norwich city to support higher volumes.
To accompany the £100-million-plus investment into the Hethel factory's facilities, Lotus will be recruiting some 250 new employees. This is in addition to the 670 to have joined Lotus since September 2017, when shareholders Geely and Etika took ownership of the company.
New recruits are required for roles in engineering and manufacturing for both Lotus Cars and the world-renowned engineering consultancy, Lotus Engineering – which opens its Advanced Technology Centre in Warwick later this year.
To acknowledge the forthcoming family of performance cars, Lotus has released an image that hints at the new generation of products that will follow Elise, Exige and Evora, which have entered their final year of production in 2021.
The Lotus Elise was first unveiled in 1995, revolutionising the low volume sports car industry with its pioneering use of extruded and bonded aluminium, high-tech composites and lightweight knowhow.
Using the technology pioneered in the Elise, the Exige was then launched in 2000 and quickly became the epitome of the ‘race car for the road’. The Exige demonstrated a rare ability to give the driver an involving yet accessible experience on the road, while still managing to lap the most demanding tracks of the world quickly, with the safety and progressiveness expected of a Lotus.
And finally, the Evora was unveiled back in 2008 and entered into the super-sports car sector as an award-winning and versatile road car that was more driver-focused than its peers. In motorsport, the Evora was successful too, winning national GT championships around the world and gaining a podium at Le Mans.
The Elise, Exige and Evora have contributed greatly to the Lotus business over the years, and by the time the last of these models leaves the assembly line, they will have sold a combined circa 55,000 units.
It's a sad time in Lotus' life, but and exciting one too. Sure the Elise, Exige and Evora will be greatly missed by all, but don't forget what's on the horizon especially with the recent partnership with Alpine.