Lotus to Stop Production of NA-Spec Elise and Exige
The news comes via company officials that have told Autoblog the move is due to federal regulations regarding the need for "smart" airbags on the sportscars. Combine this with the fact that Toyota will stop production of the 2ZZ four-cylinder engine. Since production of the two models should come to an abrupt end, Lotus could send the cars off with an extremely limited number of Final Editions.
Lotus Officials state that the production process for the UK and the rest of Europe will continue with the new 1.6-liter four pot until the next Elise arrives in 2015, but we are sad to see that an increasing amount of markets will no longer have true Lotus models available. In addition the new regulations in the US make it hard for really light sportscars to be sold there.
The next generation Elise was unveiled in concept form at the Paris Motor Show last year, along with a number of other future sportscars. Available as a coupe and roadster, the new Elise features floating taillights, and a variety of carbon fiber components.
Power is expected to be provided by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 296 hp or 345 hp, depending on the varian. The bad news is that it will be a bit heavier and about 50% more expensive. Don’t like the sound of that? Buy the current one... fast!