Could Lotus finally make itself relevant again?
We finally have some good news to report about Lotus. Fans of the sports car maker have had little to be happy about over the past several years, with no truly new model introduced since the Evora came out it 2010. When Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales took over the company, he initiated a turnaround plan that finally resulted in a profit for Lotus. Now that the company is making money for the first time since 2000, it can finally redesign some of those aging models in its lineup. And the first car on the docket is the Elise.
Gales has confirmed that the new Elise is slated for a 2020 release. This new car will have a bonded aluminum chassis that will keep the car under 1,000 kilograms (2,240 pounds). The Elise will only grow marginally in size, so expect something similar to the current car. Eventually, a hardcore Exige model will also be built. Lotus is one of the smallest companies to meet US crash regulations with the Evora. The new Elise will be developed with the US market in mind, and will conform to US regulations. Gales says that Lotus wants to sell 2,000 cars next year, 2,500 the year after, and around 4,000 by the time the new Elise and Exige are announced.
By 2020, Lotus will make a decision on what it wants its fourth model to be. Gales confirms that an SUV prototype has been developed, but a final decision on design has not been made. We would put our money on an SUV because of their high marketability. Before these new cars are released, Lotus will incrementally improve the current cars by making them lighter and improving quality. Lotus is also planing an open-top version of the Evora which we should see by the end of 2017.