A New Era For Lotus? Elise, Exige And Evora Discontinued This Year To Make Way For The The ‘Type 131’

These sports cars have some enormous shoes to fill

A New Era For Lotus? Elise, Exige And Evora Are On Their Way Out To Make Way For The 'Type 131'
Lotus is kicking off a new series of sports cars, and putting their older models out to pasture in the process. (Photos: Lotus Cars)

Lotus announced its latest plans for new sports cars Monday.

With 250 new employees on the payroll and £100 million ($137 million) investment into its UK manufacturing plant, Lotus plans to gear up its new sports car lineup in 2021. As part of that process, though, the British automaker plans to kill off its long-running Elise, Exige and Evora models.

“This year will be hugely significant for Lotus with new facilities coming on stream, a new sports car entering production and new levels of efficiency and quality that only a new car design and factory can deliver,” said CEO Phil Popham. Along the brand’s “Vision80” business plan, the company will centralize its entire manufacturing operation to one facility. From there, it can increase its production volume in the coming years. Alongside its 2,000 horsepower electric halo, the Evija, we see three new models under covers.

2020 Lotus Evora GT
The Evora is the only model most people available brand new in the U.S. right now.

More details to come

At this point, all we know with certainty is the first car’s “Type 131” internal designation. That will be the trailblazer for the new range, though Lotus is keeping exact platform and powertrain details under wraps for now. From right to left, it seems we’ll get a small, taut sports car like an Elise, as well as a larger Evora replacement and something to slot between those two. Word has it Lotus aims to build this line on a modular platform.

Prototypes should — hopefully — begin rolling out sometime this year. From there, Lotus aims to release its new sports cars into global markets, including North America, sometime soon. To send out the Elise, Exige and Evora, which will hit a combined production figure of 55,000 units according to Lotus, the team plans “a full program of activities” to celebrate the models. The Elise is by far the oldest of the bunch, with its lineage stretching all the way back to 1995.

While we look forward, check out another piece on a classic Lotus (in all its selfie-stick glory) on TFLclassics below: