Updated: Jun 25
The British sports car company decided it's time to bring down the curtain to a remarkable period of its company.
British specialty carmaker, Lotus, commemorated three of its most successful sports cars in the past decades, the Exige, Elise, and Evora, in a grand photo op at the company’s factory in Hethel, England. The event signified the official end of the models’ production as the automaker moves forward to focus on electric car manufacturing.
The ceremony was a proper salute to its successful run in the ever-competitive automotive industry. These models kept the company going and held Lotus together even during tough times. The Elise, Exige, and Evora together made up a total of 51,738 car sales, and represented almost half the company's total production ever.
These numbers say a lot about the company’s resilience that enabled them to continue producing sports cars amid all the economic challenges of the past two decades alone. Add that to the fact that other segments in the car industry have gained traction. The rise in popularity of electric cars, and mid-size crossovers have continued getting a bigger share in the market, placing niche sports cars as a smaller piece in the entire market.
Following the exit, the company revealed that the last examples of the Elise, Exige, and Evora models will be reserved for Lotus' growing heritage collection, as these cars were significant in the company’s history.
All hope is not lost though, as the company is continuing with the development of new sports cars, sedans, and SUVs. Tentatively, Lotus aims to produce the following models in the coming years:
The Emira, a mid-engine gasoline-powered sports car;
The Evija, an electric hypercar;
Type 132 SUV,
Type 133 four-door coupe,
Type 134 crossover,
and the Type 135 electric sports car,
One exciting concept mentioned above is the mid-engine Emira, which is expected to be powered by a Toyota-based 3.5-liter gasoline engine or an AMG 2.0-liter engine. As of writing, this is the only gasoline powered race car that the company is scheduled to produce.
As the sports car manufacturer focuses on producing electric cars, Lotus is also working on its all-electric Evija hypercar and the Type 135 electric sportscar. The latter is expected to be released in 2026 and will ride on Lotus's new E-Sports architecture.
This architecture will be shared by all future Lotus sports cars and will be based around a lightweight rear subframe holding both batteries and motor(s) of the car, expecting a balanced weight distribution. According to the company, the structure will be more than a third lighter than the frame used for the gasoline-powered Emira.
There’s still a lot of exciting news fans can expect from Lotus, but as sad as it may sound, the company’s pursuit of an electric future has resulted the end of three of its gasoline-powered cars. This may seem like a cynical view, but Lotus shifting its focus on the electric car market, may be a sign of its permanent exit to Formula 1 Racing as a whole. Even Honda, despite their success, left the scene. I guess we may just have to wait and see. Until then, we racing fans may just have our fingers crossed.
Article by: PAULO CUENTO
December 25, 2021