Fueled by the Evora 400's success in U.S., Lotus is happy to report its first operating profit in about four decades.
The very appealing Elise Concept pictured here was introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show to preview what was supposed to be the next-generation 2015 Elise. It’s almost the end of 2016 and Lotus is still selling the current-gen model, albeit nowadays there are several versions of the car with less weight and more power, such as the Elise 250 Special Edition.
If you would rather wait for an overhauled Elise, arm yourself with patience as Lotus through the voice of its boss Jean-Marc Gales has announced the car will make the transition towards a new generation in 2020. When it will arrive, the new Elise will be a tad larger than today’s model, but it will still weigh less than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds). It’s going to take advantage of a new bonded and extruded aluminum chassis to keep the weight down as much as possible and it will go through other changes in order to allow Lotus sell the car in United States and Canada.
Speaking of the North American market, the Evora 400 pictured above is a hit over there as it’s already sold out until next March following its launch in August. It is a contributing factor to Lotus’ first operational profit since the 1970s, which was also possible reducing the staff from the 1,200 employees the company had in May 2014 to around 800 workers nowadays. Gales mentions the cars are of much higher quality now than they were two years ago and since then production output has increased from less than 1,200 units annually to more than 2,000 cars, despite the decreased employee count.
Lotus hopes it will be able to sell around 4,000 cars by the end of the decade, following the launch of the new Elise and Exige. In 2022, the next-gen Evora is going to be introduced, while an SUV is still being considered. If green-lighted for production, the high-riding Lotus is expected to double or even triple the annual sales volume estimated by the company for 2020.
But until then, the existing models will be further optimized in the years to come by slashing even more weight to boost performance. In addition, Lotus wants to increase build quality and will have an open-top Evora ready by the end of next year.