Published on December 27th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Lotus Elise, Exige And Evora Now Officially Out Of Production
Lotus has embarked on a new journey with Geely, who inherited the British sportscar company as part of the “Foreign Strategic Partnership” deal with Proton. Very quickly, Lotus was given the funding to launch an electric hypercar, the Evija, and to expand and upgrade their headquarters in Hethel and open a new China facility to deal with some new vehicles including a possible SUV.
Early in 2021, Lotus announced the end of production for the Elise, Exige and Evora, all sportscars launched during Proton’s ownership of the company. This week, the company finally pulled the plug on those vehicles, with manufacturing coming to an end.
Historical Significance of The Lotus Elise, Lotus Exige and Lotus Evora
The oldest of these is the Elise, a model that Lotus has been producing for 26 years.
The 3 models were made on assembly lines that were installed in the year 2000. These assembly lines will be dismantled and replaced with state-of-the-art facilities to produce the new Emira early next year.
The last models were:
A Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition in Yellow (car number 35,124)
A Lotus Exige Cup 430 Final Edition in Heritage Racing Green (car number 10,497)
A Lotus Evora GT 430 Sport in Dark Metallic Grey (car number 6,117)
All together, 51,738 of these three models were produced, representing half of all the cars ever made by the company in 73 years. An additional 9,715 cars were produced using the same Lotus ‘small car platform’ for Tesla and GM’s Opel and Vauxhall brands.
Here’s the press release with more.
Today, Lotus commemorates the last of the Elise, Exige and Evora sports cars.
The trio were photographed on site with many of the Lotus team who contributed to the design, engineering, assembly and sales of the cars.
Between these three model lines and over the course of 26 years, a total of 51,738 cars will have come off the production line. Combined, they represent almost half of the total production of Lotus in its 73-year history. In addition, 9,715 sports cars were built for Lotus’ third-party clients, including GM and Tesla.
From 1996 to 2000, the first-generation Elise and Exige sports cars were built in a small assembly hall at Hethel alongside the Lotus Esprit. The current assembly lines, which were installed in 2000, will be dismantled and replaced with all-new state-of-the-art facilities in support of the all-new Emira factory. Full Emira production begins in the spring, after the prototype and test phases currently underway are completed, taking Lotus sports car production into an exciting, high-tech and semi-automated era, and increasing capacity up to 5,000 units per year on a single shift pattern.
The last examples of the Elise, Exige and Evora models are reserved for Lotus’ growing heritage collection.
Joining the collection will be the last Elise, a Sport 240 Final Edition finished in Yellow and the last of 35,124 cars; the last Exige, a Cup 430 Final Edition in Heritage Racing Green – number 10,497; and the last Evora – a GT430 Sport finished in Dark Metallic Grey – the last of a production run of 6,117.
The Elise and Exige sports cars are built around the Lotus ‘small car platform’. On the same platform, and also manufactured by Lotus at Hethel were the Opel Speedster / Vauxhall VX220 (7,200 cars built between 2000 and 2005) and the Tesla Roadster (2,515 cars built between 2007 and 2012). Therefore, including the Lotus 340R, Europa, 2-Eleven and 3-Eleven cars, this brings the total Lotus small car platform production volumes to 56,618 cars.
The elder of the ‘3Es’ trio, the Elise, has been part of the automotive landscape for more than 25 years. Click here for 25 examples of the huge impact and lasting legacy of this amazing little two-seater.
Next out of the Lotus stable is the Emira, the critically acclaimed new mid-engineered sports car from Lotus. Launched last July at Hethel and on a world tour ever since, it’s the last petrol-powered car from Lotus. Joining the first electric Lotus – the Evija hypercar and the most powerful production car in the world – will be the all-electric Type 132, Lotus’ first SUV, which will be revealed to the world in the spring.