Lotus chief executive Jean-Marc Gales has hinted that the next-generation Elise will hit the market in 2020, despite reports to the contrary.
While speaking with Autocar, Gales confirmed that the new Elise won’t bear any resemblance to the 2010 Elise concept released during the company’s infamous Dany Bahar era. Instead, it will retain the current model’s lightweight philosophy and draw on the same aluminum chassis technology that the original Elise pioneered some 20 years ago.
According to Gales, “The Elise chassis has often been copied but never equalled. Combine that with the steering feel and you have something truly special. The DNA of that car is its light weight, its steering feel and the balance of power and driveability. At every price point it is sold in, it is the fastest car for the money — and always the most special to drive.”
“Today, we are still setting benchmarks for lightweight cars, just as Colin Chapman did when he founded the company. It is a philosophy we want to continue, no matter what car we build,” he confirmed.
Keeping true to the car’s original philosophy, the British automaker is apparently targeting a scarce 900 kg (1,984 lbs) weight figure, despite the model being slightly wider than the current car to accommodate side airbags to comply with U.S. crash regulations.
Given Lotus’s ongoing relationship with Toyota, it’s inevitable that the next-gen Elise will be powered by a range of Toyota-sourced engines in both naturally-aspirated and supercharger guises. In keeping with all previous iterations, don’t expect to see any absurd power figures with most variants expected to produce between 150 hp and 250 hp.