A new Lotus Elise is long overdue. Since it was introduced in 1996, the Elise has built a reputation for being one of the best lightweight sports cars money can buy, but despite receiving numerous chassis and performance refinements, the current model still runs on the same ageing platform. As soon as the struggling British automaker started to recover from its financial woes and turn a profit, CEO Jean-Marc Gales confirmed that an all-new Elise will arrive in 2020. But that was before the company was bought by Geely, which also owns Volvo and Lynk & Co.
With increased financial stability, there’s hope that the all-new Lotus Elise will arrive sooner rather than later. Geely also proposed plans to “unleash the full potential of Lotus” and “bring it into a new phase of development by expanding and accelerating the rolling out of new products and technologies” during the takeover, so it would make sense to prioritize development of the next-generation Elise. Lotus’s CEO has previously hinted that the new Elise will remain true to its roots. This render posted on Behance is based on that philosophy, combining design elements of the original Elise and its successor to show how the all-new Elise could potentially look.
With its massive rear diffuser, ferocious front splitter and racing stripes, it appears to have been designed with the race track in mind. Rear visibility also isn’t a priority here as the design is noticeably devoid of a conventional rear window. While that makes it less than ideal for road use, the additional aero elements should enhance the sports car’s performance and agility. We’ll have to wait and see how the new Elise develops under Geely’s leadership, but Lotus has previously suggested that the target weight will be under 2,000 Ibs and that power will be sourced by a Toyota engine retuned by Lotus.