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The 2026 Lotus Elise Will Prove Electric Drive Is Better

The Lotus Elise’s successor will have at least double the power of any Elise that came before it

The Lotus Emira is billed as the brand’s very last fuel-powered vehicle, marking the end of its gas-powered lineup forever. We knew this was the case early on as right around the time it was launched, the company also told us that the Elise, Exige, and Evora were officially being sent to the guillotine. It was a bittersweet revelation that we all knew was coming but really didn’t think it was going to happen so fast. Since then, and even more so after the launch of the Emira, we’ve all wondered what would happen next. Will there be a successor to any of Lotus’ legacy models? Is the brand’s once most important model – the Elise – really gone forever? Well, now we know that, at the very least, it might not be over for the Elise quite yet.

2026 Could Mark the Return of the Lotus Elise

The 2026 Lotus Elise Will Prove Electric Drive Is Better Exterior
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Matt Windle, Managing Director at Lotus, said:
“It’s our DNA: dynamics, aerodynamics, lightweighting – that’s what we do on all our products. We still want these to be Lotus products.”

The automotive industry is changing at a record pace, and this evolution is, quite literally, killing off automotive icons, and the Lotus Elise was no exception – any company that wants to survive beyond the 2020s is forced to replot its course into the future. I’ve told you in the past that the current Lotus Elise might live on as a new Toyota MR2, but the news I’m about to tell you now is even bigger than that. How big? Well, what if I told you that a successor to the Lotus Elise was coming and that it would feature at least double the power output?

Before I dive too deep into the news, let me explain that there is at least a little bit of reading between the lines that you have to do if you really want to piece the puzzle together. Autocar, an outlet known to have reliable information, has laid out some significant details about the first car that will ride on Lotus’ new electric sports car platform. It will be an ideological successor to the Elise and will apparently be the brand’s entry-level sports car when it launches in 2026. The second most important takeaway here is that this new sports car will be every bit a Lotus as the Elise ever was, and maybe even a little better. Lotus Managing Director, Matt Windle, was very clear about this:

The 2026 Lotus Elise Will Prove Electric Drive Is Better
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“ It’s our DNA: dynamics, aerodynamics, lightweighting – that’s what we do on all our products. We still want these to be Lotus products. They are going to have a different propulsion system but that system comes with benefits as well: instant torque, easier cooling, and better packaging, so the first sports car will have a lot of storage and packaging benefits as well.”

All of this aside, there’s more to be said here: The 2026 Lotus Elise, if that’s what it will be called, will have at least double the power of the most powerful Elise ever built to date.

The New Elise – Double the Power, Double the Fun

The 2026 Lotus Elise Will Prove Electric Drive Is Better
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Lotus hasn’t said much about the new entry-level electric sports car that will serve as an ideological successor to the Elise, but we still know a bit of what to expect. When Lotus detailed its new electric sports car platform – the very same platform this new car, internally known as Type 135, will ride on – we learned what it will be capable of. Known as the E-sports architecture, it will support dual- and single-motor configurations, with the least powerful offering being around 470 horsepower. With the Elise Sport 240 Final Edition offering up just 240 horsepower from a 1.8-liter engine, this means Type 135 will literally be twice as powerful. Chances are it’ll feature a single-motor, RWD configuration even in its best form, but that will certainly hold true to everything the Elise represented.

The 2026 Lotus Elise Will Prove Electric Drive Is Better Exterior
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More importantly, Lotus is aiming to keep the new sports car as affordable as possible by borrowing parts from various companies under the Geely corporate umbrella.

Whether or not the Type 135 will actually go by the Elise name is still a big mystery, but reports suggest that the team working on it is taking advantage of the compact dimensions of the electric powertrain and aiming to develop highly effective aerodynamics. This means that not only with the Type 135 be twice as powerful, but it could even offer more dynamic handling and extremely impressive aerodynamics. More importantly, the brand is apparently aiming to keep the price of the vehicle low by dipping into the parts bin of other brands owned by Geely. Too much part borrowing might be a bad thing, but as long as Lotus doesn’t go overboard, and the price stays low, the Elise’s successor could turn out to be quite the affordable and fast electric sports car.

Source: Autocar

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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