So, that is it then: a brand new period actually is coming at Lotus. With a lot nonetheless to be taught in regards to the Sort 131, maybe nothing signifies how drastic a change is imminent than the demise of the prevailing fashions. With simply this Exige and Elise Last Version pair – an equal Evora is about to comply with – Lotus is bringing to an finish a mixed 46 years of manufacturing. Goodness is aware of we’ve seen loads of particular editions over that point, too, although maybe none can be as vital as these.
As such, Lotus isn’t holding again, and has created a variety of Last Editions automobiles – 5 in complete. From £45,000 to £100,000, there are two Elises – a Sport 240 and a Cup 250 – alongside a trio of Exiges – the Sport 390, the Sport 420 and the Cup 430 – pitched by Lotus as “the last word variations” of each, which “mark the top of technical improvement to showcase greater than 20 years of engineering excellence”.
With this yr additionally marking 25 years since manufacturing started, consideration is inevitably drawn to the Elise. Each the Last Version fashions obtain a brand new TFT sprint – presumably carefully associated to the choice launched final yr – in addition to a brand new flat-bottomed wheel to make getting out and in that bit simpler. Higher late than by no means in any respect, proper? New seat trims and a Last Version plaque will mark out each interiors.
Appropriately, including lightness is a central theme all through all these valedictory specials; the Elise Sport 240 – which succeeds the old Sport 220 for this final yr – can really be optioned all the way down to 898kg. As customary, patrons will get new solid wheels which can be lighter than these used on the 220, with extras together with a lithium-ion battery, polycarbonate rear window and carbon fibre add ons. Lotus claims the 240bhp (243hp) mannequin will attain 60mph in 4.1 seconds.
The Cup 250 is broadly as we’ve identified the automotive since launch, with extra aerodynamic focus, Bilstein dampers and Yokohama A052 tyres. However it’s not fairly the identical, as a variety of heritage paint choices have been launched for the Last Version: these embrace Azure Blue, as that was the color of the Elise used within the first media pics, Racing Inexperienced like the ’95 Frankfurt show car and, er, black. As a result of that’s the Lotus Motorsport color. The Sport 240 FE prices £45,500, the Cup 250 £50,900.
Equally to the Elise, the inexpensive Exige Last Editions are maybe most fascinating. A Cup 430 stays on the prime, a £100okay supercar scarer that will get Nitron three-way dampers, Cup 2 tyres, AP Racing brakes and every thing else wanted to make the Exige go as quick because it presumably can. Which, from expertise, is quicker than just about the rest. Once more, colors will mark it out as a 2021 Exige, the Last Editions provided in – however not restricted to – Metallic White, as per the 2011 Frankfurt present automotive the place the V6 S3 was launched, and Metallic Orange, like the primary press automotive in 2000.
For this yr, the Sport 390 Exige replaces the Sport 350, packing one other 47bhp for 397bhp in complete – or 402hp in new cash. Powering a automotive weighing simply 1,138kg, Lotus reckons the Sport 390 can attain 60mph in simply 3.7 seconds and a prime pace of 172mph. Solid wheels are customary, with Michelin Pilot Sport Four tyres wrapped round them.
Equally, the Sport 420 replaces an outdated mannequin – on this case the Sport 410. With an additional 10bhp (and 426 metric horsepower in complete) and fewer aggressive aero than the Cup 430 flagship, it’s really the quickest of the 2021 vary, with a prime pace of 180mph. In actual fact, the Sport 420 borrows lots from the Cup, with the Nitron dampers, Cup 2 tyres, J-hook brake discs with AP calipers and Eibach adjustable anti-roll bars. It even weighs the identical 1,110kg, so if final slivers of aero enhanced grip aren’t a precedence (and you may stay with out the titanium exhaust), the Sport 420 seems like greater than sufficient Exige for many. All three get the TFT sprint, too.
The Last Version Exige vary begins at £64,000 for the Sport 390, rising to £79,900 for the Sport 420 and £100,600 for the Cup. The automobiles are all on sale now, Lotus suggesting nothing extra for the second than that every one can be “in-built restricted numbers”. Nonetheless, given the specs of all 5 and their standing because the final ones ever, finest transfer quick – they absolutely gained’t grasp round for lengthy.