The Evija was just the start of a sea change at Lotus.
We've been talking about the revitalization of Lotus for a couple of years now, a chapter that began with the unveiling of the Evija hypercar back in 2019. With its twin electric motors producing close to 2,000 horsepower, it instantly became the most powerful production car in the world.
Now, Lotus has announced more big changes for 2021. Not only will the production of the Evora, Exige, and Elise conclude this year, but a new series of sports cars is on the way. We'll get our first taster when a prototype of the Lotus Type 131 goes into production. The Type 131 will be produced at the brand's new plant in Hethel, Norfolk, which recently underwent massive upgrades following an investment of over 100 million pounds.
To assist with the marque's ambitious plans, around 250 new employees will need to be recruited. Lotus shared a new image of the Evija alongside three new sports cars, but all are almost entirely concealed beneath car covers, with only their LED running lights visible.
The car closest to the Evija in the teaser image could be the Type 131, which is expected to be a smaller sports car aimed at the likes of the Porsche Cayman. The other two cars appear wider and bigger, but there's no sign of the rumored Lotus SUV. Of Lotus' outgoing sports cars, the Elise is the oldest, having been released way back in 1995.
Like other Lotus sports cars, the Elise's use of bonded aluminum and composites endowed it with its light weight and sparkling dynamics. It was later followed by the Exige and Evora. Combined, the three models have sold around 55,000 units.
"Members of our team, old and new, are now busy blending the learnings of the past with the innovations of today and tomorrow," said Matt Windle, the brand's Executive Director of Engineering.
It's possible that Lotus could release special editions of its Evora, Exige, and Elise to bid farewell to these great driver's cars. They will be missed but should serve as a fantastic foundation for a new generation of lightweight Lotus sports cars.