The good news is that Lotus expects to make a profit for the first time in 20 years in the next few months. The better news is this means it can go ahead with plans to introduce a new Elise in 2020.
According to a report from Autocar, Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales confirmed that an all-new Lotus Elise will “be ready” in 2020 thanks to growing sales and the automaker expecting its first profit in 20 years.
Although Gales said only that the car will be “ready in 2020”, he also gave clues as to the design philosophy and engineering make-up of the car. Chief among these is that the car will stay true to its lightweight roots, using the same extruded aluminium chassis technology pioneered on the original Elise S1, which went on sale in 1996, and which underpins all of Lotus’s cars today.
“The Elise chassis has often been copied but never equalled,” said Gales, in reference to the current car. “Combine that with the steering feel and you have something truly special. The DNA of that car is its light weight, its steering feel and the balance of power and driveability. At every price point it is sold in, it is the fastest car for the money — and always the most special to drive.”
Key to the new chassis will be an absolute focus on weight reduction. Gales said: “Today, we are still setting benchmarks for lightweight cars, just as Colin Chapman did when he founded the company. It is a philosophy we want to continue, no matter what car we build.”
Gales claims the new Elise will bear no resemblance to the sexy, but fat and expensive 2010 concept car, and has a target weight of just 900 kilograms, or just under a ton. Lotus is also extremely satisfied with its relationship with Toyota, and the new Elise is expected to source its power from the Japanese brand again.
Gales claimed that Lotus has more orders now than they’ve had over the last ten years, giving them a fantastic opportunity to turn out something great when the new Elise shows up in 2020.