Lotus Drops New Details On All-New Elise And Evora 400 Roadster
Lotus may not be as busy as some of the bigger automakers, but the sports car company has been doing work in reinventing its own lineup. And if CEO Jean-Marc Gales has his way, the model range of Lotus will look entirely different from the one it has today.
Speaking with Auto Express, Gales dropped some new details on a handful of Lotus’s models, including the upcoming Elise and a roadster version of the Evora 400. Development for the new Elise is considered to be one of Lotus’s highest priorities, at least right next to its promise of releasing a new SUV by 2020. Since the Elise is considered as one of the company’s most important models, Gales wants it to remain fit for the role. That’s why the all-new Elise, which is scheduled to launch in 2019, will be developed to fit the role of an every-day vehicle. Thinking about such a role for the Elise runs counter to the spirit of the vehicle as a lightweight sports car, but Lotus believes that it could package the new Elise with the kind of handling characteristics that would make it suited for everyday use.
The new Elise will also feature a new aluminum-bodied chassis that Gales described as having “narrower sills” to improve access. Just as important will be its weight, something that Lotus is determined to also help the car’s handling dynamics. Gales didn’t say how much lighter the new Evora is going to compared to the existing model, but he did say that shaving off pounds will be one of the new model’s defining characteristics when it hits markets in 2019.
In the mean time, Lotus is also working on launching a topless version of the Evora 400, a car that the company debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. With a hefty power boost and refreshed fascias, the Evora 400 is expected to set its sights on both the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Porsche Cayman GT4. Well, if Lotus has its way, a roadster version of the sports car could arrive as early as late 2016, packing all sorts of goodies like a two-part carbon-fiber roof that can be removed manually.
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Why it matters
We’re getting good news out of Lotus and it couldn’t have come at a better time since Lotus is in definite need of positive news these days. I’m excited to see what happens to the British sports car brand moving forward. It’s had a rocky history dating back decades, but even then, it has managed to thrill us with some of the finest handling sports cars we’ve ever ridden.
That admittedly hasn’t been the case in recent years, but now that it’s back on the right track, it’s entirely plausible that we could see a reinvigorated Lotus giving us one awesome sports car after another. The launch of the Evora 400 back at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show was received very well and now that CEO Jean-Marc Gales has essentially confirmed a roadster version for the end of the year, there’s going to be a lot of excited people waiting to see if that car will be as good as the coupe version. I’m very optimistic that it will happen.
Then there’s that news about the all-new Elise that should be a welcome development for fans of the lightweight sports car. Remember, there was a time when the Elise and the Mazda MX-5 Miata set the standard for lightweight sports cars. The Elise has fallen a little bit compared to where the MX-5 still is, but with this news about the new Elise going back to its performance and handling roots, the sports car could once again make a play for the MX-5’s throne. Whether it will end up doing it or not is a question that won’t be answered at least until 2019, but if Lotus is as serious about its future plans as we all think it is, then we could see a major shakeup in the segment three years from now. Once again, the optimist in me sees it happening. It’s on Lotus now to see it through.
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