Group Lotus, now under joint Chinese and Malaysian ownership, is a grand name in automotive history whose influence far outweighs the limited quantities of its production cars. It’s said that the founder, Colin Chapman, built road cars merely for the revenue they generated, which could be earmarked toward his more favored pursuits, like winning in Formula 1 and the Indianapolis 500. Things are different now without a pure revolutionary in charge of the company. Product cycles and emerging market forces matter now. Lotus is preparing to join the EV world with its forthcoming Evija hypercar. Some things had to change. At Lotus, that means two-thirds of the current product lineup.
Lotus Cars, the auto-manufacturing arm of Group Lotus, has announced that production of the Lotus Elise and Exige, sports cars built in exceeding small numbers for a dedicated clientele, will cease after the models have enjoyed marketplace runs of 25 and 21 years, respectively, which gives you some idea of how the normal gravitational forces of the business haven’t always applied here. Name another car, particularly a specialty car, that’s managed to stay relevant for a quarter-century. Nothing this big can go unrecognized, and so Lotus has announced a range of five new Final Edition variants for both the Elise and Exige. Every one of the Final Edition cars will have the models’ highest level of interior appointments ever, a new palette of colors, higher power output across the board, and something the Lotus founder would have enthusiastically endorsed – lighter weight than the current production versions of both cars.