Final Editions mark the end of an era at Lotus
It’s with a heavy heart that we can confirm the Lotus Elise and Exige are dead. As predicted, Lotus is to axe its longest-serving sports cars to be replaced by one last huzzah with internal combustion before going all-in on electricity.
The Elise bows out after celebrating its silver jubilee at 25 years, and the Exige leaves with 21 years of service. To mark these milestones Lotus has announced five Final Editions to be sold before the company’s new sports car takes over.
The Final Edition Elise comes in two flavors: Sport 240 and Cup 250. The former replaces the now-departed Sport 220 and gains 23 horsepower for a total of 243 horses and a 0–60 mph time of 4.1 seconds. True to form, the car has shed weight, thanks to lighter alloy wheels, a smattering of carbon fiber, a lithium-ion battery, and polycarbonate rear window. The Cup 250, meanwhile, is fettled for the track with a front splitter, rear wing and rear diffuser, and side floor extension pushing the Elise onto the asphalt at speed. Lotus says these aero aids create 341 pounds of downforce at 154 mph.
For the Exige there are three options: The Sport 390, Sport 420, and Cup 430. All come with a 3.5-liter supercharged V-6 with power and performance stepping up accordingly. The Sport 390 offers 395 hp, the Sport 420 packs 426 hp for a 180 mph top speed, and comes with AP Racing brakes to help slow it down again. The circuit-focused Cup 430 squeezes out a further ten horsepower and throws in adjustable suspension, motorsport traction control and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
Prices for the Final Editions range from £45,500–£100,600 ($62,300–$138,000), and the cars represent the pinnacle of the platform that first appeared on the Elise over 25 years ago.
Sadly, it will be another 25 years before U.S. buyers can import one of these celebration models, as the only Lotus you can buy Stateside is the Evora. Expect a Final Edition of that soon, too.