Lotus to phase out Elise, Exige and Evora as ‘Type 131’ replacement emerges
NORFOLK, ENGLAND - To say that the current Lotus line-up is getting long in the tooth would be an understatement. The Elise and Exige have been around since the early 2000s without a major redesign, while the Evora of 2008 is hardly fresh by comparison.
However, 2021 is set to bring some big changes for the British sports car maker, which is revered for its lightweight products inspired by its founder Colin Chapman’s obsession with “adding lightness” to perk up performance.
The company, which is currently owned by Geely, confirmed this week that 2021 will be the final year of production for the Elise, Exige and Evora. The trio is set to be replaced by a new model series codenamed ‘Type 131’, previewed in the teaser image above.
That’s as much as Lotus is prepared to say for now, although previous rumours have stated that Lotus was working on a new entry level sports car that would be practical for ‘everyday’ use.
Lotus engineering director Matt Windle has promised that the new model will do its predecessors justice:
“Our renowned team of engineers, designers and technicians who are working on the new cars are acutely aware of the legacy from the Elise, Exige and Evora.
“Indeed, many were around when Elise was being developed. Members of our team, old and new, are now busy blending the learnings of the past with the innovations of today and tomorrow, to ensure our future cars truly move the game on but remain firmly committed to Lotus values.”
Lotus CEO Phil Popham added: “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.”
It is also rumoured that the Type 131 will be the company’s last combustion engined car.
Lotus has already taken the electrification leap with its 1471kW Evija hypercar, which is said to be the world’s most potent production model.