Saying Goodbye: Lotus Sends Out The Elise And Exige With Final Edition Models

We in the U.S. will likely get a Final Edition Evora sometime soon

Lotus Elise, Exige Final Edition models
Lotus will send off its longest-lived models, ushering in a new series of sports cars over the next few years. (Photos: Lotus)

Lotus’ most iconic cars are rolling off into the sunset this year.

You know how the saying goes: You can’t stop progress, and that’s certainly the case as Lotus plots out its near-future ambitions. This year is the end of the brand’s current era, with both the Elise and Exige going out of production. To that end, the British automaker announced five final edition cars Friday to send the two current-generation cars out with a bang. The Elise first went into production all the way back in 1996, while the Exige has been around since 2000.

Lotus Elise, Exige Final Edition models
The last Lotus Exige offers three power outputs ranging from 397 to 430 horsepower. (Photos: Lotus)

Lotus Exige Final Editions: Sport 390, Sport 420, Cup 430

These cars are more powerful than their predecessors, without straying from the brand’s lightness-focused philosophy. At the top end, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 manages — you guessed it — 430 horsepower from its supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine. Since it only has a shade over 2,400 pounds to lug around, even the “heavyweight” Lotus hits 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Top speed stands at 174 mph, which is plenty quick for most drivers out there. Carbon fiber trim, adjustable dampers and roll bars create the proper racing car feel without having to shell out six figures for a supercar. Count me in. The Exige Sport 420 and 390 dial the power back a bit, but still manage a 0-60 time in the 3.3 and 3.7-second range, respectively.

Lotus Elise Final Editions: Sport 240, Cup 250

While the Exige is more of the hardcore, hard-charging coupe, the Elise is one of the brand’s best-known cars. New colors hit the Final Edition lineup, including a classic Azure Blue and Racing Green. Even better, this featherweight literally tips the scales at one ton. At 2,032 pounds, it’s about 200 pounds lighter than a Chevy Spark.

Thanks to a supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder, though, it’s still pretty quick. Its 240 horsepower (up 23 from the base tune) and 180 lb-ft of torque net the Elise Sport 240 a 4.1 second 0-60 time. Step up to the Cup 250 Final Edition, and you’ll get more aerodynamic tweaks like a front splitter, rear wing and rear diffuser, amounting to 66 kilograms of extra downforce at 100 mph. At its top speed of 154 mph, it manages 155 kilograms greater downforce.

Pricing…if you can actually buy one

Of course, we Americans haven’t known anything other than the Evora for the past several years. And that’s not changing now — unfortunately, none of these final edition models will go on sale here. However, Lotus is also putting the Evora out to pasture this year, so we will see some Final Edition versions there as well. For its part, the automaker said it would announce those details “in due course”.

For those in Europe who can actually buy them, here are the prices for each model across the Elise and Exige range: