Don’t expect to see a revolutionary new Lotus Elise when the next-generation model bows in 2020.
Even though the Lotus Elise concept that debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show looked amazing, the next-generation model won’t resemble it at all. That’s because that concept was part of a wild dream from former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, who wanted to move Lotus upmarket to compete with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin. Instead, the 2020 Lotus Elise will stick to its lightweight roots and will use the same aluminum chassis originally developed on the Elise S1 that went on sale in 1996. That chassis still underpins all Lotus models today.
Current Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales confirmed the Elise will stick to what it does best: “The Elise chassis has often been copied but never equalled. Combine that with the steering feel and you have something truly special. The DNA of that car is its light weight, its steering feel and the balance of power and driveability. At every price point it is sold in, it is the fastest car for the money – and always the most special to drive.”
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The company has already shown that it can lose weight on the Elise, with the Elise Cup 250 tipping the scales at a scant 2,030 pounds. It is believed that Lotus has set a target weight of 1,984 lbs (900 kg) for the new Elise, while making sure it will meet U.S. regulations. That also means that while the new Elise likely won’t be longer than the current model, it could get wider in order to accommodate side airbags and extra crash structures.
For now, power is expected to come from a Toyota-sourced engine that has been tweaked by Lotus.
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