Cars bowing out of service is usually overlooked, especially by those who consider vehicles as nothing more than a tool. But for us enthusiasts, it is a sad occasion. And when it comes to cars from more exciting manufacturers, the aching is a bit worse. Unfortunately, that’s the case here – Lotus retiring not one or two but three cars in a single day. To be precise, Exige, Elise, and Evora have gone out of production.
Lotus has decided to reserve the last examples of the three sports cars for the heritage collection. Joining the list is a Yellow-coloured Elise Sport 240 Final Edition, the last of 35,124 units produced. Along with it is an Exige Cup 430 Final Edition in Heritage Racing Green. That’s the 10,497thunit ever built. Lastly, the Evora GT430 Sport – finished in Dark Metallic Grey and 6,117th specimen of the breed.
Among them and over the course of 26 years, 51,738 units were produced. Together, the trio accounts for nearly half the cars manufactured by Lotus in its 73 years of existence. And that doesn’t include the 9,715 cars built by the Norfolk-based brand for third-party clients, including Tesla and General Motors.
Both Elise and Exige were built on the same platform. In addition, Lotus used the architecture to produce cars for other parties, such as Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220 (7,200 units manufactured between 2000 and 2005) and Tesla Roadster (2,515 cars built between 2007 and 2012).
What’s in the future? Three models, at the moment – the most-powerful electric hypercar Evija, the Emira sports car (launched in July last year), and the Type 132, an SUV. Lotus will dismantle its current assembly lines for Emira’s production, which will begin in spring. The revamping process will also see the factory enter a semi-automated era, which will uplift the production capacity to 5,000 a year on a single shift platform. As for the Type 132, which should get a proper name soon, it will also be revealed around the same time Emira goes into production.