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Would Colin Chapman Be Proud Of This Latest Lotus Milestone?

Remember: "Simplify, then add lightness."

It may be somewhat hard to believe, but the Lotus Elise has been in production for 20 years now. The year was 1995 and Lotus, like today, wasn’t in the best shape financially. In fact, Lotus has really never been on solid financial ground in, well, ever. But we still have hope for the future. In the meantime, Lotus is now celebrating this two decade-long milestone with an Elise S 20th Anniversary model. Amazingly, it’s still built on the same small car platform as the ’95 original.

What’s more, this same platform has underpinned several other models, including the Exige, Europa, 2-Eleven, 340R, and other racing variants. All told, 40,000 small car platform Lotus models have been produced. And this is something we think Lotus founder and Colin Chapman would have been proud of. After his death, his company still managed to carry on his "simplify, then add lightness" philosophy. It became the first carmaker to use extruded and bonded aluminum, and today continues to refine and develop its own lightweight structure, which now weighs in at just 150 pounds. Its structural rigidity guarantees that Lotus benchmark handling and pure driving experience.

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