Not to mention ridiculously lightweight.
1996. That was the year when Lotus launched the two-seat Elise sports car. Over the past 20 years, the Elise has received many updates and improvements in terms of design, chassis refinement and performance. But its platform essentially remains the same. We previously reported that an all-new Elise is still a few years out, but Autocar has now scooped up additional details. Lotus will reveal that new Elise in 2020, a fact confirmed by Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales.
Design and engineering work is already underway and the final product will remain true to a proper Lotus: lightweight and an excellent chassis. Furthermore, Autocar has learned the 2020 Elise will have "little to no" relation to the 2010 Elise concept (picture here). How come? That concept was more powerful and heavier than the current Elise. What's more, it would have had a much higher sticker price. In other words, the next Elise will be an evolution of today's car. "The Elise chassis has often been copied but never equaled," Gales states. "Combine that with the steering feel and you have something truly special."
Lotus has a target weight of just under 2,000 lbs. for the new Elise and yes, it will meet US safety regulations. Although this may change, power will continue to come from a Toyota-sourced engine retuned by Lotus. In the meantime, Lotus will continue to update the current Elise until its successor arrives.