Lotus is entering a new era as its current range is discontinued. The Elise, Exige, and Evora are all being put out of production with new sports cars set to replace them. The all-electric hypercar, the Evija, has already been revealed and will be joined by an entirely reinvented range.
This isn’t the first time Lotus has made such bold claims. At the 2010 Paris Motor Show the company shocked the world with no less than five concepts which the company says would reach production soon. Just over a decade later and those cars, including a revived Esprit and Elan, haven’t materialised. But now, finally, Lotus will be bringing in an all-new lineup.
And it’s certainly needed. As great as the company’s range may be, they are prehistoric by car standards. The Elise was first revealed in 1995, the Exige in 2000, and the Evora, the youngest of the three, in 2008, though with various updates along the way. The outgoing Elise and Exige are little more than facelifts of the second generation which still makes them quite ancient. Now, finally, the company is bringing three new models, besides the aforementioned Evija, into production.
To that end Lotus is investing £100 million into its factories and creating 250 new jobs. And the new cars will have some pretty big shoes to fill. The outgoing models have helped make the Hethel-based firm a success over the years, selling 55,000 units between them.
The first of the new cars, codenamed the Type 131, is expected to be powered by a hybrid V6 engine and cost around £85,000, according to Auto Express. It may also be the company’s last model to have a combustion engine as the company joins the rest of the industry in electrification.
The company has also announced future collaborations with Alpine and it is likely that the successor to the A110 will be both an all-electric car and share a platform with one of the new Lotus models.
But it’s a different model, codenamed Lambda, that will be the most controversial. These days if a company wants to survive long-term it needs a crossover SUV in its stable. The Cayenne has helped secure Porsche’s future and the Urus and DBX are helping to keep Lamborghini and Aston Martin respectively afloat.
Lotus hopes that a crossover model will help the brand grow, especially in China and the US, though a pickup might also help for the latter. It expects to see sales almost triple from 1500 to around 5000 units over the next few years.
Whatever the future holds, and whatever you think about the Lambda, Lotus is a company that we’d all miss if it wasn’t around anymore. And just as the Cayenne ensured Porsche’s future, this model will likely see Lotus sticking around just a little bit longer. And however you feel about SUVs from sports car makers, that’s not a bad thing!