Time to reapply for citizenship.
There's no question that Lotus has been struggling. Fortunately though, it's getting back on its feet. The new Evora 400 that debuted at Geneva last March is proof. As we already know, new Lotus cars, the Evora, Elise, and Exige, have been kicked out of the US due to their inability to meet safety and crash standards. Lotus simply didn't have the resources – and money – to update them all. So it chose the Evora first, which will have its US market re-launch this January as a 2017 model.
But what about the Elise, a car that many claim to be the purist driver's car on the market? According to a new report coming from Automotive News, Lotus is laying the groundwork for the Elise's US return, but not before 2020. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales confirmed the news and also added that this will be a next generation Elise. Why couldn't the existing Elise be given similar safety updates as was done to the Evora? "We'd need smart airbags, plus side airbags and to change the whole front crash structure. It would add 200 lbs," Gales admitted. No other details were provided, but we're guessing the next Elise will incorporate even more lightweight materials in order to balance out the added weight from the added safety.