Amazing what can be done with a 20-year-old platform.
The Lotus Elise launched in 1996 and it's been built on the same platform ever since. The Exige coupe came along later and both cars have been updated over the years. Thing is, neither one is now being sold in the US. According to a recent Top Gear interview with Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, the UK sports car maker’s best market is currently Japan. The just-revealed Exige Sport 350 will undoubtedly sell well there as well as in Europe.
More interesting from that discussion, however, was Gale’s revelation about when we can expect to see replacements for the Elise and Exige. So when? Not for at least another four years. Gales also confirmed, and something we long expected, those replacements will be federalized for the US market. In the meantime, the larger and more expensive Evora will be returning to the US next year, now called the Evora 400. There’ll also be a roadster version of that coming in the near future. Lotus is still working to get back on its feet after many years of, well, poor sales. That can partially be blamed on lack of new products. In other words, those Elise and Exige replacements can’t come soon enough.