Good-bye, Elise!

Lotus, the producer of iconic sports cars, recently announced the Final Editions of its bestselling models the Elise and the Exige, as part of its eventual transition to electrification. Lotus' distinctive cars are noted for their light weight, due to the original design of the revolutionary bonded extruded aluminium chassis.
26 March, 2021
Lotus has been producing the Elise model in various forms since 1995. In honor of the Elise, and its sister, the Exige, the car maker has announced a range of five new Final Edition cars, which have higher power, greater standard specification, and, in true Lotus style, light weight. These cars are described as "the ultimate versions of the Elise and Exige" and mark the pinnacle of technical development, showcasing more than two decades of engineering.

Replacing the Elise Sport 220, the new Elise Sport 240 Final Edition packs an extra 23 horsepower for a total of 240 hp generated by the supercharged 1.8-liter engine. The Final Edition Exige lineup consists of Sport 390, Sport 420, and Cup 430 models – they share a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine with a grand total of 402, 426 и 436 hp respectively. The most affordable in the entire line-up, the Elise Sport 240 costs 45,500 pounds in British dealerships, and the most expensive Exige Cup 430 costs 100,600 pounds.
Image: Lotus Cars
The new Final Edition cars retain all the core values and features that have made the Elise and the Exige such an iconic car, notably the light weight. For instance, the Elise Sport 240 Final Edition features forged alloy wheels (16" front and 17" rear), polycarbonate rear window, lithium ion battery and optional carbon fiber panels, reducing the weight to as low as 922 kilograms. It needs just 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph (96 km/h) from a standstill.

These cars are described as "the ultimate versions of the Elise and Exige" and mark the pinnacle of technical development, showcasing more than two decades of engineering. All models are available with unique paint colors and new exterior decals, wheel finishes, and trim, as well as Final Edition badging. The relative exclusivity and rarity of these models will no doubt ensure high demand and guarantee future classic status.
Image: Lotus Cars
These will be the last Lotus models with combustible engines as Lotus makes its move into electric vehicles. Lotus Cars is partnering with Brunel University London and Sarginsons Industries to develop Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture (LEVA). The aim of the project is to accelerate innovation in the development of lightweight structures for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), acting as a showcase for new, cutting-edge chassis and powertrain concepts.

Brunel University London will be contributing research capabilities through its Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), which has been growing over the past two years with a new Advanced Metal Processing Centre and Future Metallurgy Centre.

«One of the areas of focus for the LEVA project is to harness the lightweighting potential of an aluminum alloy developed and patented at BCAST for use in future advanced automotive architecture», said Matt Windle, executive director of Engineering at Lotus.
Image: Lotus Cars

Lotus Group was founded in 1952 by Colin Chapman, English design engineer and inventor. His knowledge of the latest aeronautical engineering techniques would prove vital towards achieving the major automotive technical advances. His design philosophy focused on cars with light weight and fine handling instead of bulking up on horsepower. Under his direction, Team Lotus won seven Formula One Constructors' titles, six Drivers' Championships, and the Indianapolis 500 in the United States, between 1962 and 1978.
Banner image: Lotus Cars