This summer will be a sad one. No, not because this will be the second to last summer before the world ends, supposedly. It’s because the US will no longer see new versions of the Lotus Elise and Exige this side of the Atlantic once the summer comes along.
This is due to the fact that Toyota stopped producing the 2ZZ-GE four-banger that powered the Elise and Exige. And it’s even a triple whammy for the exclusive British make because the waiver that Lotus has to build its cars without smart airbags expires in August and none of the current models meet new and stricter stability-control regulations.
CEO Dany Bahar said that redesigning and recertifying the cars isn’t financially feasible, but that Lotus will continue to build and sell models that utilize the 1.6L 1ZR-FAE four-pot.
But if you were worried that Lotus was going to be absent from the US market completely, you need not to. Their big plan calls for a number of new models for 2014, which includes reintroducing some names like the Elan, the Elite and the famous Espirit with a new Elise Coupe to follow in 2015.
Not to mention, the Evora will still continue to be sold with a more powerful S version on the way as well as an option for an automatic transmission.
So if you want to keep it old school with a Lotus free of power-steering, be sure to pick yours up now before they all sell out. “Final Edition” models are also on the way to pay homage to the Elise and Exige’s leave of absence from the American market.
– By: Chris Chin