We’ve written about how the future of British automaker Lotus rests on eco-friendly track toys, and that such a shift will unfortunately see the demise of its petrol-powered product lineup. While it is indeed sad to see these vehicles go, the sports-car specialist did the right thing in making sure that these automobiles are given a proper send-off.
The Elise and the Exige now have their respective final editions. But unlike most automakers that create a single version of a vehicle’s last hoorah, Lotus is thankfully making the last of its Elise and Exige cars in several flavors—catering to the variety of customers that the brand has enjoyed over the years and responding to client demand for a slice of the carmaker’s history.
The Elise has been in production for 25 years, and Lotus is making two final versions of this iconic sports car. Common to both trim levels are the TFT dashboard, the leather-and-Alcantara steering wheel, the special badging (of course), and the supercharged 1.8-liter engine.
At £45,500 (P3 million), the Elise Sport 240 Final Edition is the most affordable of the Final Edition cars. But customers won’t feel shortchanged as it can sprint to 100km/h in a brisk 4.1 seconds. With output and torque figures of 240hp and 241Nm, and a selection of upgrades that can further reduce the car’s weight, there will be no shortage of driving fun in this thing.
The Elise Cup 250 Final Edition, however, has a comprehensive aero kit that makes it more at home on the racetrack. The front splitter, the side extensions, and the rear wing and diffuser all work together to generate up to 155kg of downforce at the car’s Vmax of 250km/h. Cornering performance is enhanced with Bilstein shocks, adjustable sway bars, and a lightweight battery. The Cup 250 retails for £50,900 (P3.36 million) in the UK.
On the other hand, the Exige has been the go-to machine for experienced drivers wanting to pilot something faster than the Elise. And to account for the varying degrees of skill level, Lotus has created no fewer than three Final Editions of this car. The list of standard equipment across the range includes a TFT dashboard display, forged double-wishbone rear suspension, bespoke chassis and subframe, and a supercharged 3.5-liter V6.
Starting the lineup is the Exige Sport 390 Final Edition. Compared to the Elise, the least expensive final Exige has a substantial bump in performance with 397hp and 420Nm. Launch it with finesse and it can reach 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds. Be brave enough to keep the throttle pinned and the Sport 390 runs out of puff at 277km/h. This car can be yours for £64,000 (P4.23 million).
If that isn’t enough, the Exige Sport 420 Final Edition gains even more power and torque at 420hp and 427Nm. The increase in performance has compelled Lotus to throw in adjustable anti-roll bars and shock absorbers, four-piston calipers, and two-piece rotors so drivers can keep it right side up during spirited motoring. The Sport 420 can be had for £79,900 (P5.28 million).
And for the most hardcore car of this lot, the Exige Cup 430 Final Edition brings aerodynamics into the mix. The car’s front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser, side pods, and rear wing are all made from carbon fiber and together generate up to 171kg of downforce. The V6 engine exhales through a titanium exhaust system and is good for 430hp. This is the most expensive Final Edition car so far with a sticker price of £100,600 (P6.65 million).
While Lotus is looking forward to tearing up mountain roads and racetracks on battery power, these vehicles are fitting goodbyes to the petrol-powered past it is leaving behind. And if the Final Editions of the Elise and the Exige are already this good, one can only imagine what the carmaker has in mind for the ultimate Evora.