Codename: Type 131 could be the replacement to the Elise, with more to follow.
Lotus remains as one of the proud British automakers that represent our small island in the motoring world, even if it’s been living off of the long-lived Elise sports car for what seems like forever.
With Lotus remaining a very niche option in the world of sports car enthusiasts and the legacy of the company almost entirely focused in the 20th century, it needs to take some sort of action before it disappears completely, like so many other British-based manufacturers.
Now, the Norfolk-based marque is looking to revitalise the brand with the release of the Evija hypercar which has successfully grabbed the attention of the world’s press. Of course, a £2 million car isn’t exactly going to reach the masses but their new range of sports cars may be more accessible.
Lotus has announced that their Elise, Exige and Evora sports cars will no longer be produced after 2021 and are set to be replaced by a fresh new range. Leading the charge will be what we now know to be the ‘Type 131’ which is the development name of the first new sports car range to be put into development.
Judging by the teaser image, we can assume that there will be at least two other sports cars to join the Type 131, similar to how the Elise was followed by the Exige in 2000 and then the Evora in 2008. So in a way, the Type 131 could be the new Elise but it’s unknown if it will be a spiritual successor or take a completely different direction to the Elise.
So far, we know that the Type 131 will use a hybrid V6 powertrain and is said to honour the spirit of the Esprit, although that could mean anything so we wouldn’t advise getting your hopes up. It will certainly be interesting to see how Lotus fulfils its age-old philosophy of keeping cars ultra-light, which also electrifying powertrains with batteries and motors.
This new line-up of sports cars will also mark the beginning of the Geely era (bar the Evija), the Chinese multinational that bought Lotus in 2017.
The Type 131 is due to enter production this year with plans for it to be revealed in some capacity this year too, although we wouldn’t be surprised if those plans ended up not being fulfilled.
Let us know if you’re excited to find out more about the new era of Lotus sports cars, in the comments! If you enjoyed this, you may also like: ‘Top 5 Sports Cars & Supercars Coming In 2021’
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