End of an era at Lotus as production ends of Elise, Exige and Evora

End of an era at Lotus as production ends of Elise, Exige and Evora

The three long-running sports cars are making way for the new Emira

Lotus has announced that it has finished production of its Elise, Exige and Evora sports cars, ending a run of 26 years. 

The brand’s final models were photographed at the Lotus site yesterday (December 22), in Hethel, Norfolk, with the team that helped design, engineer, produce and sell the models. 

The Elise has been a fixture of Lotus’ range since 1996 and has lasted several generations,  with more than 35,000 versions being produced in that time. The Exige then accounted for 10,500 sales, while the more recently-introduced Evora ended its production run of 6,117 cars. Across the three model lines, 51,738 models have been produced.

Also in this time, Lotus has produced its rarer Europa, 2-Eleven and 3-Eleven sports cars, while the British brand has also been responsible for the assembly of the Opel Speedster, Vauxhall VX220 and Tesla Roadster in that time. 

The Elise, Exige and Evora make way for the next era at Lotus, as the brand introduces its new Emira and all-electric Evija hypercar next year. The current production lines, which were installed in 2000, will be taken down and replaced with ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities to support production of the Emira, which begins in the spring. Lotus says it will increase its capacity to 5,000 units per year, built on a single shift pattern. 

Russell Carr, design director of Lotus Cars, said: “These iconic cars have not only played a huge role in Lotus’ 73-year history but have also been ever-present in my daily life. Together with the Lotus design team, I have lived and breathed these cars for over 26 years.

“We will miss them, but a bit like Christmas, once it’s over, the excitement for the next one starts to build – and that’s what’s happening now at Lotus with the Evija, Emira and forthcoming Type 132. 2022 is going to be a great year as a new Lotus generation swings into action.”

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