British sports car maker Lotus has stated that it is open to selling the tooling for its discontinued Elise sports car, Automotive News Europe reported. “If the right project and the right partner came along, I do not see why not. It’s a wonderful car,” said Lotus managing director Matt Windle.
The lifeline of sorts for the two-seater, four-cylinder sports car comes as the Hethel-based carmaker confirmed that the Elise, along with the Evora and the track-focused Exige will be discontinued this year; Final Edition variants for the Elise and Exige were released earlier this year in February.
Replacement for the outgoing trio of Lotus models will be led by the Emira (codenamed Type 131), and this will be the last model from Lotus to use a purely internal combustion engine. Lotus has gone big with its foray into pure electric propulsion, with the Evija producing 2,000 PS and 1,700 Nm of torque from four electric motors, enabling a 0-300 km/h run in under nine seconds.
July 6 has been set as the date for the debut of the Emira, as revealed in teaser imagery that shows design cues drawn from the quad-motor Evija. The Emira will be built on a new extruded aluminium architecture dubbed Elemental, which is a development of the construction technique first used by Lotus on the Elise.
If the possible sale of tooling for the Elise does go forward, it would not be the first such sale of tooling from Lotus to another firm; Lotus sold the tooling for the Seven two-seater to Caterham in 1973, notes Automotive News Europe, and Caterham continues to build and sell updated versions of the car today.
Would Caterham be a potential buyer for the Elise tooling? “I think they are just trying to sort out what their plans are going foward,” Windle said.
Among the most recent of these is the Super Seven 1600, a retro-inspired model powered by a 1.6 litre naturally aspirated Ford Sigma engine producing 135 hp and 165 Nm of torque, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. The top end of the Seven range is represented by the 620S and 620R, both producing 311 hp and 219 Nm.
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