Lotus cars represent the epitome of driving purity. They always have been and according to the folks from Hethel, will continue to do so. However, the current line-up of the Elise, Exige and Evora are all long in the tooth. They should’ve been taken behind the shed and had a shotgun unloaded between their headlights a long time ago.
Money was the cause for them dragging on but now that parent company Geely has given them a shot in the arm, things are about to change for the better.
For a new chapter to begin, the old must end. With that, the Elise, Exige and Evora will end production in 2021. All will have their own replacements, with the first being the aforementioned Type 131 that enters production this year.
Although details on the Type 131 are scarce, it will remain true to the Lotus ethos and possess an “overriding criteria of being ‘For The Drivers,’” according to the folks in Hethel. All we know so far is that the Type 131 will be the entry-level model; the new Elise. It’ll be heavily influenced design-wise by the company’s all-electric Evija hypercar.
“This year will be hugely significant for Lotus with new facilities coming on stream, a new sports car entering production and new levels of efficiency and quality that only a new car design and factory can deliver. Despite the continuing global challenges, Lotus has emerged from 2020 strong and on track in the delivery of our Vision80 business plan,” explained CEO Phil Popham in a media statement.
If you’re wondering, Vision80 is marketing fluff for the carmaker’s plans to consolidate its expansion plans into a centralised locale in Norwich City, just 10 miles from its current base in Hethel.
Seeing that the best way to bid au revoir to a vehicle is by milking it for all it’s worth in the form of special edition, send-off editions and so long farewell units, Lotus confirms it has a “full program of activities” to mark the trio’s retirement.
All in, Lotus mentions the Elise, Exige and Evora accounted for a decent 55,000 units or so combined in sales.
Alongside the Type 131 in showrooms will be the electric Evija hypercar with 1,973hp and the ability to rearrange your face with acceleration that some define as “physics defying.” We expect nothing less than the ability to bend space and time from the people at Lotus.