It's a sad day at Lotus.
The British automaker made the shocking announcement that they are ending the production of the Elise, Evora, and Exige sports cars this year. So if you've been hesitant about buying one, this is your last chance to order one up from the dealership. However, there is some good news as their deaths won't be in vain. Instead, it will make way for the introduction of Lotus's new line of supercars.
Three new sportscars will replace the three outgoing Lotus models. The first of the three is internally code-named Type 131. Lotus says “prototype production” of Type 131 will begin later this year at their facility in Hethel, Norfolk. With that, we might see what it will look like towards the end of this year or in early 2022.
Speaking of the Hethel production facility, Lotus' parent company Geely recently invested more than $137 million at the plant. They say it will create an additional 250 new jobs on top of the 670 people Lotus hired when Geely took over. It shows Geely is more than ready to start building and developing the three new sportscars.
Unfortunately, details about the upcoming Type 131 are still shrouded in mystery. Lotus did release a teaser photo showing a trio of cars under covers, each having different designs for LED daytime running lights. However, it's uncertain which of the three models is Type 131. There's no word about powertrain either. But given the brand's push for electrification, it might have a hybrid system. It is also uncertain whether it will continue to be Toyota-powered as most Lotus models have been for decades.
The three new Lotus sportscars have big shoes to fill. That is considering the legacy of the Elise, the Exige, and the Evora. But, we're certainly excited to see what the automaker has to bring to the table.
Still, it's sad news given how long these cars served the brand. That said, it's a new chapter for them, and expectations are high for the upcoming models. For as long as these still embody the principles of "Simplify, then add lightness." we reckon they're in good hands.