Lotus is pulling the Evora from the U.S. market for 2015, but sales won’t be halted forever. In fact, the company plans to be back for 2016.
In the interim, Lotus will continue selling cars to Americans, but they will only be legal for track use. The year-long break in sales is taking place because the Evora doesn’t meet U.S. crash standards, but according to the company it only failed by a small margin. The current Evora was legal to sell here under a one-year exemption that expired in March.
Lotus told Automobile that the new Evora will also have some other changes and that it has already began showing the new car to dealers in this market. The revised car will also be designed to handle the IIHS’ recently implemented small overlap crash test that proved to be troublesome for vehicles in most segments. Unfortunately, Lotus isn’t also planning to update the Exige or Elise to be sold again in the U.S.
Lotus hasn’t said what other changes are in store for the Evora, which is currently powered by a Toyota 3.5-liter V6 making 276 hp in the base car or 345 with the help of a supercharger.
Late last week, the company’s recently-appointed CEO Jean-Marc Gales said the British sports car maker would lay off as much as 27 percent of its staff in an effort to make Lotus a viable business again. In the near term, the company will focus on making better cars within its current roster while offering new variants of those nameplates. Later, the brand is considering a diversified product portfolio that could include a
Lotus has been caught honing its next model at the Nürburgring.
At first glance, the Lotus Elise caught by spy photographers appears to be the Elise S Cup R but noticeably missing is the track-only variant’s external battery isolator switch and the external button for the fire extinguisher. With those components missing, it appears that the British automaker is working on a production, road-going variant for its Elise S Cup R.
The track-only car is based on the Elise S and is powered by a supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, which will almost certainly stay the same for the road car. The Elise R will likely feature the same aerodynamic and suspension improvements as the Cup R, though it will be slightly toned down for street use. If it gets the green light, expect the Elise R to make its debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show.
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