Lighter Lotus Exige and Evora 400 roadster coming

Lotus is in the process of building a lighter and faster next-generation Elise and Exige, and it will soon lop the top of its Evora 400 flagship.

The specialist British car maker confirmed the news to Autocar, while also stating that the brand expects to announce a profit for this financial year for the first time in six decades.

“The next Exige and Elise will be faster and lighter,” said Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales.

Autocar claims that Gales wants all future Lotus models to be made with this ethos, while at the same time also making them more practical. In Australian specification, the current base Elise weighs 876kg and sprints from standstill to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds, while the top Exige S tips the scales at 1182kg and its supercharged V6 shifts it to the same speed benchmark in 3.9sec.

At the pricier end of the spectrum, the Evora 400 is expected in Australia early next year priced from an expected $200,000. But the 300kW/410Nm supercharged V6 'supercar' will now also be made as a roadster, Lotus has confirmed.

“We are working on it now,” Gales told Autocar, before adding that the new variant will come with no loss to structural integrity due to the strength of the carbonfibre tub, while the roof will be a two-piece design with stowage behind the front seats.

“It’s a quicker build,” he added. “The chassis is a tub, so there’s no impact with the roof off.”

With the coupe starting UK production next month, it is unclear how far off the roadster will be or if it will come here – though apparently the US market is the target.

The Evora 400 roadster could potentially arrive just in time for the Lotus brand to officially return to profitability.

“We will be cashflow-profitable in this financial year and profitable in the financial year beginning 1 April 2016 for the first time in 60 years,” claimed Gales.

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