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The Lotus Elise, Exige, and Evora Are Officially Out of Production

When they were milking the hell out of the Elan and Esprit, the peeps at Lotus returned to the British automaker’s roots with the Elise. Launched to much critical acclaim in 1995 and named after the daughter of head honcho Romano Artioli, the lightweight roadster also happened to drain the coffers dry, resulting in a takeover by Malaysian automaker Proton.
Final Lotus Elise, Exige, and Evora 24 photos
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Initially offered with the archaic Rover K-series engine, the corner-loving sports car was complemented by the Exige in 2000 and the comfort-oriented Europa S in 2006. Developed under the Project Eagle codename, the Evora followed suit in 2009, then Lotus entered a prolonged hibernation.

Nothing of noteworthy substance happened until July 2019 with the reveal of the all-electric Evija, which was developed with the help of Chinese automaker Geely. Better late than never, Lotus refreshed its combustion-engined lineup in 2021 with the Emira, the company’s final fossil-fuel vehicle.

In order to free up production output for the all-new sports car, Lotus had to bid farewell to the triumvirate that kept the company going in the past 26 years or thereabouts. The final examples of the Elise, Exige, and Evora have rolled off the assembly line, and Lotus couldn’t resist the opportunity to mark this moment with a group photo at the Hethel-based production site.

A combined 51,738 cars were delivered in the past quarter of a century, representing approximately half of the total production of Lotus in the company’s 73-year history. A grand total of 9,715 additional vehicles were built for GM (Opel Speedster and Vauxhall VX220), Tesla (Roadster), Hennessey (Venom GT), as well as Rezvani (Beast Alpha x Blackbird).

“We will miss them,” said design director Russell Carr. “But a bit like Christmas, once it’s over, the excitement for the next one starts to build. That’s what’s happening now with the Evija, Emira, and Type 132. 2022 is going to be a great year as a new Lotus generation swings into action.”

The final examples of the Elise, Exige, and Evora are not for sale because all three are reserved for the automaker’s growing heritage collection.

press release
 

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