Frankly I am a little concerned about the styling direction the next generation Elise and Exige may take given the Evora and 2010 Exige restyle.
The Evora is ok - it's just bland in some regards. I have to admit I haven't seen one in person yet - so I may be all mistaken about this - but from the photos the nose looks disproportionately HUGE. There seems to be so much overhang over those front wheels that it distorts the whole look to me.
And there is nothing good I can say about the 2010 Exige restyle. None of it fits - and it doesn't fit within the existing Elise and Evora styling. I hope for brand identity that Lotus would have some shared styling elements - like the grill or something to tie each car together. As it is with the 2010 Exige - it looks like some hodge podge of many things. It also makes no sense that Lotus did this with only 2 years left on this gen (according to Mike Kimberlys plan).
I really hope the 2010 Exige isn't some indicator of what is to come.
I disagree on the brand image and shared styling elements. Let the designers do what they want. It looks so forced when... for example Porsche attempts to put 911 look headlights on the SUV thing etc for "brand image". I do think the Elise should keep the most aggressive styling. It just goes with the cars unrefined visceral appeal. I would like to see a bit more of the angular 211 style brought over to the regular Elise.
...i wouldn't be at all suprised to see the next-generation exige lag a year or two behind the introduction of the series 3 elise, just for marketing and tooling purposes...given that, the 2010 exige is something of a lame duck model - it'll probably be produced for three to four years but they can't let it steal the thunder of the series 3 exige styling which is probably already under development...
The next Elise and Exige are a very touchy subject at Lotus. The temptation is to redesign the entire car to make it more marketable in countries like the US where we expect real cup holders, quiet cabins and golf club holding trunks. To do that the car would need to become much larger and basically defeat the purpose of the model. Therefore the program engineer's point-of-view is to keep the platform they have now and simply upgrade it. The Elise will likely get a aesthetic revision in the same concept as the 2010 Exige in 2011. But within 3-4 years, there will need to be a mechanical revision as the 2ZZ engines are going out of production. I would expect a revision at that point that falls more in line with the Evora and next Esprit styling. Since there are carry over elements between the Evora and Esprit, I would also expect some items to carry over to the next Elise like the headlamps from the Evora. I would assume the chassis improvements from the Europa and Tesla would also be adopted (i.e. lower sills). The really wonderful thing about the Evora is that it is more of a "world car", offering a higher level of comfort for the typical GT buyer. This means, in theory, that the next Elise and Exige can stay focused and not have to satisfy both the sports car and GT segments.
Currently we have a 2010 Exige S 240 Black on Black and the vehcile has just gotten an updated front clam and spoiler. The front end looks pretty cool and the spoiler is attached to the body, instead of the rear hatch. Pretty mean looking though.
You can check it out in the FVMC Lotus Inventory section on Cars for sale in this forum. I have more pictures upon request.
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