They say all good things come to an end, and that’s especially true of the sports car world. After 25 years in production, British manufacturers Lotus have announced today that the Elise - along with their Evora and Exige models - will be retired before the end of 2021.
It thus draws to a close a phenomenal run of success for their flagship model, which since it first rolled off the production line in 1996, has been a firm favourite amongst motorists, selling nearly 21,000 units, while combined sales along with its brothers, the Evora and Exige, stand at over 55,000.
Famed for its lightness and aerodynamic qualities, and with supremely fast speeds of up to 123 mph, and winner of numerous accolades including Car of the Year in 2003, you can imagine that Lotus will want to ensure that its successor matches up to the legacy it has set both for them and the car industry as a whole.
Going on their other announcement they’ve made today, it looks like they’ve got no intention of letting things slip. For as well as a promised ‘programme of activities planned to celebrate the current range of our three sports cars, starting with the elder, iconic Lotus Elise’, they have also been awful teases and released a preview image from their design studio of their new Type 131 model.
Now, granted, ‘Type 131’ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue - and Lotus have made it clear that this is just a work in progress name until it’s officially christened. But at TrackDays, we’ve been lucky enough to see the preview image for ourselves, and rest assured it does look incredibly exciting, even at this early stage.
It is believed that the new model, to be made available later this year, will also be at a more accessible price point than their other current model, the Evija, which’ll set you back a cool £2 million if you’ve got it lying around. It is an investment of approximately £100 million, and is believed to be creating 250 jobs in the process.
And following the news that Lotus are also collaborating with Alpine on a new EV sports car that we reported on a couple of weeks back, whispers are abound that this new range of sports cars will more than likely be focussing on electrification and mark their entry into the new hybrid era that many car firms, at home and abroad, are starting to make further strides into with the greater focus on greener energy.
Whilst it may be the end of an era for the Lotus Elise, Evora and Exige, you can still book to drive them all with us here at TrackDays. Head to our dedicated Lotus experiences page to book yours from forthcoming dates or purchase of our open gift vouchers from as little as £39 at nationwide venues across the UK!