Lotus is slated to halt the production of its Elise, Evora and Exige sports cars at the end of this year as it readies itself for a brand new series of sports car series. In our experience, the three former cars have been some of the most entertaining sports cars we've driven, and we’re quite saddened by the prospect of their imminent cease in production.
The Geely-owned manufacturer will then replace the three sports cars with a sports car that carries the Type 131 codename.
Lotus will produce the Type 131 prototype at the manufacturing facility in Hethel, Norfolk as part of its Vision80 strategy.
A teaser image released by Lotus hints at the new generation of products that will follow the trio. The teaser image does not reveal much, instead, it shows three cars with dissimilar headlights.
For reference sake, the Elise and Exige models were launched in the year 2000 while the Evora was introduced in 2008. In motorsport, the Evora won national GT championships around the globe as well as gaining a podium at Le Mans.
By the time the trio leaves the production line, approximately 55 000 models will have found homes across the world.
Details about the new model are still kept under wraps at this stage, yet rumours point out to a hybridised powertrain.
With the new Type 131, the British marque promises to become a success and a driver’s car.
Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars, said: “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.”
As part of the Vision80 strategy, Lotus will also relocate two of its sub-assembly facilities into one central operation in Norwich city. Also, Lotus will hire 250 new employees in addition to the 670 that have joined the brand since September 2017 when Geely and Etika took ownership of the company.
Production of the new model is scheduled to begin later this year.