Advertisement

New 2019 Lotus Elise to be 'more usable' day-to-day

CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Auto Express about his plans to 'modernise' the lightweight sports car

By the end of the decade, Lotus’s model range will look very different to the one you see today. A brand new SUV has already been promised by 2020 – but just as crucial to the company’s reinvention is an all-new Elise, which is scheduled to arrive in 2019. The lightweight sports car will feature a new aluminium-bonded chassis, and focus on making the model more usable day-to-day.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Auto Express: “We’ve not yet completely defined the car, but one thing is almost certain – I want to stick with an aluminium-bonded chassis. Look at the variations you can do; Elise, Exige and roadster versions. It is our intention to go that route with the next Elise.”

Best sports cars

The new car will stay true to Lotus’s core values as a “very lightweight car”, and promises to have “benchmark handling” in its class. Visually, we’ve been told not to expect a dramatic redesign, but instead this Elise will simply be “modernised” and “still recognisable as a Lotus.”

Bigger changes will come in terms of practicality, with one of Gales’ key goals being to make the Elise more driveable for everyday journeys. He told us: “There are maybe five or six points that define usability, and that’s what we’ll improve.”

The new chassis will have narrower sills to improve access, and could be lighter than the 68kg tub used on the existing Elise. Gales hinted that aluminium could replace some fibreglass panels to further reduce weight, too. 

Lotus Exige Sport 350 review

Before the new Elise arrives, a roadster version of the Evora 400 will be introduced as soon as the end of this year, Lotus also confirmed to Auto Express. It’ll feature a two-part carbon-fibre roof, which can be removed by hand and stowed between the engine and seats. This car will be mechanically identical to the hard-top, but with some tweaked rear panels.

We also proposed the idea of a lighter, stripped-out Sport version of the Evora 400, to which Gales responded: “After the Elise Sport and the Exige Sport, you can imagine what’s to follow.”

What do you think about Lotus' plans? Leave us a comment!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

New limited run Lotus Elise Heritage Editions arrive for summer 2020
Lotus Elise

New limited run Lotus Elise Heritage Editions arrive for summer 2020

Four new limited edition versions of the Lotus Elise have been revealed, each an homage to the company’s motorsport heritage
6 May 2020
Lotus Elise review
Lotus Elise front
Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise review

Lightweight Lotus Elise sports car priorities handling and performance above all else
25 Mar 2020
Lotus abandons petrol power for all-electric future
Lotus

Lotus abandons petrol power for all-electric future

The next Lotus sports car will be petrol, but after that all of the brand’s future cars will be full EVs
12 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Skoda Octavia Estate vs Toyota Corolla Touring Sports
Estates

Skoda Octavia Estate vs Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Skoda’s new Octavia Estate has moved upmarket. We find out if it’s a better wagon than the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports
4 Jul 2020
New Skoda Octavia vRS line-up completed as petrol and diesel models arrive
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS line-up completed as petrol and diesel models arrive

Skoda has unwrapped the complete Octavia line-up, which now offers a choice of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid powertrains
3 Jul 2020
New Ineos Grenadier 4x4: prices, specs and video of the Land Rover Defender rival
Ineos Grenadier

New Ineos Grenadier 4x4: prices, specs and video of the Land Rover Defender rival

The Ineos Grenadier will be built in Wales and will use BMW engines, but fuel-cell electrification is also likely in the future
2 Jul 2020