Lotus Cars was founded by engineers Colin Chapman and Colin Dare in 1952, four years after Colin Chapman built his very first car. The company initially set its focus on motorsports, with road cars coming later as a way for Chapman to fund his racing exploits and expand into the growing customer racing scene. While all of the Lotus racing cars built under Chapman's supervision were given number-based names (like the 33, the 49, or the 91), the street-legal cars built by Lotus were all given names starting with 'E'. Currently, Lotus sells the Elise, the Exige, and the Evora and have unveiled the radical Evija all-electric hypercar, heralding a new era for the now-Geely-owned company.

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Vehicle Types

What is the Cheapest Lotus?

The cheapest Lotus is the base model Elise called the Elise Sport 220. In the U.K. (because the Elise is no longer imported into the U.S.), an Elise Sport 220 will set you back £41,950 which is the equivalent of $51,034. To put it into perspective, the cheapest Exige, namely the Sport 350, starts from £64,610 or $78,624 at the current exchange rates. The only Evora model still in production, namely the Evora GT410 Sport is even more expensive with a price tag of over $100,000. This is significantly more than the $78,792 MSRP of the Lotus Evora 400, the last Lotus officially available in the U.S. (that was discontinued in 2018).

What is the Sportiest Lotus?

The sportiest Lotus is the range-topping Exige Cup 430. As the name suggests, this track-oriented sports car cranks out 430 horsepower, 20 more than the Exige Sport 410. The 3.5-liter supercharged V-6 of Toyota-sourced engine delivers 325 pound-feet of torque and, since the whole car weighs just 2,447 pounds - less than a Ferrari F40 - it can go from naught to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds before topping out at 174 mph. The Cup 430 features a carbon-fiber roof, rear wing, diffuser, and splitter, the whole aero package generating in excess of 210 pounds of downforce at speed. Stability on the track is provided by the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

What is the Most Popular Lotus?

The most popular Lotus is the Elise. The lithe sports car was a huge hit when first introduced back in 1995 when Lotus was owned by Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli. In just two years, Lotus sold 1,000 Elise examples but, nowadays, the market has shrunk considerably. If Lotus would dispatch 2,500 cars per year some two decades ago, it only sold 584 cars of all types in 2018 (down from 783 in 2017). Out of those 584 cars, 257 were Elises, reconfirming the model’s status as the most popular Lotus - although even the Elise is taking a hit with sales dropping below 300 units per year for the first time since 2014.

What is the Most Expensive Lotus?

The most expensive Lotus is the Evora GT410 with its $107,107 price tag in the U.K. before you add options. And while you may think options on a Lotus may be cheap, they most definitely are not. For instance, diamond-cut forged wheels cost $3,526 and the optional metallic paint finish will set you back $1,460. Having said that, the most expensive Lotus away from the manufacturer’s well-known lineup of sports cars is the 2020 Evija hypercar with its $2.1 million MSRP. Of course, the Evija can’t be compared with anything else in Lotus’ lineup but, to put matters into perspective, merely reserving a build spot (only 130 will be made) has you fork out $304,032 which is the equivalent of almost six brand-new Elise Sport 220s.

What is the Fastest Lotus?

The fastest Lotus car that’s currently listed on Lotus’ own website is, obviously, the 1,971-horsepower Evija hypercar that’s said to surpass 200 mph. However, if we only take into account the sports cars currently made by Lotus, then the quickest of the lot is the Evora GT410 Sport that will go all the way to 186 mph in top gear. Having said that, the Evora GT410 Sport has been shadowed, until recently, by the Evora GT430 Sport which, thanks to 20 extra ponies, could hit 196 mph.

Are Lotus Cars Reliable?

Lotus cars used to be very unreliable, like any British-made cars of the ’60s and ’70s but, since the dawn of the third millennium, things have started to change bit by bit for the better. Back in the days, Lotus owners had this running joke that Lotus stood for ’Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious’ but, more recently, owners on carbuyer have given the Elise a 4.8 out of 5 and 88% of owners would recommend the Lotus Elise to a friend. The Toyota engines that power modern Lotus cars seem to be pretty bulletproof although issues can appear in the suspension department while the clutch is also prone to untimely wear. Still, there are many who daily drive their Lotuses and, besides the usual pitfalls of daily driving a sports car, have little to complain about.