Just a month after claiming that 2017 would bring profit to Lotus for the first time in its 68-year history, chief exec Jean-Marc Gales has indicated that work has started on an all-new Elise. Slated for a 2020 debut, the new car will be a lightweight two-seat car that follows in the tire tracks of the current model.
The current Elise was introduced in 1996, and while it has seen changes to power and bodywork, the chassis is still largely the same. Within Lotus, this aluminum chassis also underpins the Exige and Europa, but it has seen duty under the Tesla Roadster and Hennessey Venom GT as well.
The new Elise is targeted at the US market, which means we're likely to see it in Canada. The goal is to keep it under 900 kg while meeting tougher modern crash regulations. That will likely make the car wider to accommodate airbags and side-impact protection, but overall length is not expected to change.
Power is expected to continue come from Toyota, allowing for reliability and a range of power options. While the company would not confirm if they're planning a switch to electric power steering, Gales did reply that "we have steering that nobody else has matched, that is part of our company and we will never do anything that disrupts that. It is a core part of Lotus."
When the new Elise arrives in 2020, it will bring with it a target of over 3,000 sales per year from the small automaker. A number they haven't seen in more than a decade.Boom times for the lightest carmaker around 7/26/2016 10:37:10 AM 7/26/2016 10:37:10 AM