Lotus CEO Unveils Future Plans
After two difficult years during which it almost went bankrupt, Lotus is finally back on track with a new model for 2015 and two more to follow in 2016. A crossover, Lotus’ first effort in this nice, is also scheduled to arrive by the end of the decade, but according to brand CEO Jean-Marc Gales, there more to come from the Hethel-based automaker.
Speaking to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, Gales disclosed that the Exige and the Elise are also in for updates by 2017. A new Exige — to replace the current S V6 model, launched in 2012 — will arrive in late 2016, while the new Elise will be launched sometime in 2017 (likely in the second half of the year). The current 2011 Lotus Elise is already 14 years old and received its latest upgrade in 2011.
Gales also confirmed that the 2017 Lotus Evora 400 Roadster will break cover in early 2016, while deliveries of the recently unveiled 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven sports car will commence in February. Finally, the brand’s first crossover will hit dealerships sometime in 2019.
Gales declined to comment as to what upgrades the new Exige and Elise will receive, but I expect significant changes in the design and drivetrain departments. Also, there’s no word on whether these sports cars will make it to the U.S.
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Why it matters
Though Lotus is not yet safe financially, it’s definitely headed in the right direction as a low-volume manufacturer. With four new cars to arrive in dealerships over the next two years, the Brits will finally get some breathing space and be able to make more complex plans for the future. Also, with a lineup that will include five models in 2017, Lotus will likely have enough money to build the crossover that will enable it to become profitable again. The future looks bright for Lotus, at least on paper, and the company has Jean-Marc Gales to thank for that. Considering the Luxembourgian joined the company only 14 months ago, it’s quite an achievement.
Read more about the upcoming Lotus Evora 400 Roadster here.