It’s a garage sale in Hethel and everything-must-go before Lotus completely revamps the line-up with four upcoming cars
Lotus is a brand to keep an eye on at the moment. The British sports car manufacturer has a new boss to begin with, and they didn’t poach him from a bank or a retail store selling red teddy bears and mugs. Just when you thought you’d forgotten about Dany Bahar…
And anyway the new Managing Director in Hethel isn’t exactly new either because Matt Windle has been with the company for 23 years and knows his way around the Lotus grounds. He also comes from the engineering department, which is the best department to come from.
Windle will be off to a busy start. First Lotus has to get rid of all the current cars. It’s the end of an era at Lotus, with production ending this year for the Elise and the Exige, after 25 and 21 years respectively. To stir up interest Lotus is doing its run-out cars with five new versions offered – two Elise and three Exige models – in unique new paint colours and a bunch of details all over,
The horsepower is reflected in the names of the five cars: Elise Sport 240, Elise Cup 250, Exige Sport 390, Exige Sport 420 and Exige Cup 430. Prices start from $68,000 and go up to $155,000.
Depending on how you spec yours, you can get an Elise down to 898kg with carbon fibre parts, lithium-ion battery, and a lightweight polycarbonate rear window. Both Elise special editions get a new steering wheel design in leather and Alcantara, a unique stitching pattern, a plaque commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Elise, and a new digital dashboard with a choice of conventional dials or race-car style readout.
The Exige models also get the TFT display, new steering wheel, seat and trim pattern, and you can pick from fresh colours such as Metallic White, Metallic Orange, Azure Blue, Black, and Racing Green.
Once the current cars are sold Lotus will turn its attention to releasing the Evija electric hypercar plus another three new models to replace the Evora, Elise and Exige. The company pumped $140 million into the Hethel factory where 250 new recruits will be necessary to start the new era at Lotus. May it be an era of prosperity. And without the smell of glue.