Lotus’s entire current lineup died earlier this year to make way for Lotus’s Emira future, though Lotus kept producing the last Elises, Evoras, and Exiges throughout 2021 in farewell. That all ended Wednesday in Hethel, United Kingdom, with production officially done.
The Elise has been around since 1996, while Exige since 2000, and the Evora since 2009, three cars that I was sort of convinced Lotus would never stop making until finally they announced exactly that. Lotus says 51,738 Elises, Exiges, and Evoras were built, including the three you see above, in addition to almost 10,000 cars built for other manufacturers.
The final three also won’t be sold, but instead go into Lotus’s heritage collection. They are:
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.
You’ll recall that the Tesla Roadster was also partially built at Hethel, along with the Opel Speedster. Hethel will now be refitted and used to make the Emira, which is Lotus’s last internal combustion engine car. Lotus also has the Evija, an all-electric car that it calls the “most powerful production car in the world,” in the works, in addition to the all-electric Type 132, which is an SUV that we have sort of heard about before, and for which the full reveal will be this spring.
That Lotus SUV, by the way, will be very interesting for a company who’s organizational philosophy is, “Simplify, then add lightness.” I mean a small, race-y, light SUV sounds like the jam in theory, and if there’s anyone to pull it off it is Lotus, a Porsche Macan fighter for those with taste. Maybe I just want to believe.