It’s always sad when a coveted car is pulled from the market. But Lotus has recently confirmed that the company’s not only pulling one of their iconic vehicles from their portfolio, but three. That’s right, the Elise, Exige, and Evora are getting pulled, and this makes us very sad.
But while we mourn the loss of these three British sports cars, we celebrate the fact that Lotus will be revealing an all new car going by the name of Type 131, which will go into prototype production in the UK’s Hethel next year. They’ve also revealed that eventually these cars we’re losing will also be replaced down the line, but it’s unclear how this will take place.
An investment of £100 million has been shoveled into the Hethel branch for the Vision80 strategy, and now the company is looking for an additional 250 employees to help build the new Type 131.
We have no official confirmation on how this Type 131 will take shape, but Autocar states that it will use the same chassis as the outgoing Evora as well as its V6 which will be mated to a hybrid system built in-house. This car, while it may not use the name, is said to be the spiritual successor to the legendary Esprit. The Elise, Exige, and Evora, will now sit up there with the Esprit after they are retired from the market after a final year of production.
The Elise, launched in 1995, was the pioneer of the extruded-and-bonded aluminium chassis which it still uses to this day. It embraced the Lotus ethos of “simplify, then add lightness”, and has had a huge impression on the industry. The Exige followed in 2000 as a more hardcore version of the Elise with a hardtop, and finally the Evora followed eight years later with even more on-road performance.
55,000 of these cars have been sold so far, according to Lotus, but now a new era begins, curated by Lotus owners, Geely. We’re very excited to see where this takes the British marque, and wish we could get our hands on the outgoing models to give them a proper sendoff.