*Unless it isn’t.
According to Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, the next-generation lightweight Lotus two-seater sports car has a future in the United States around 2020 — that is, if Lotus is still around then.
The chief executive spoke to Automotive News and said the Elise could be adapted to the U.S. market’s famously fussy safety regulations, which eventually killed the current-generation Elise in 2011 in the States.
This isn’t the first time Lotus has teased us. Remember the Esprit (pictured above) that was definitely going to be a thing? Yeah, um, I guess that one is still in the mail, huh?
Don’t worry my fellow Americans, your supercharged Elises and Exiges are safe. In Europe, however, the introduction of the new 1.6 liter Elise means the old 1.8 supercharged cars are on their way out, victims of the new Euro 5 standard.
Other, more enthusiast-oriented blogs have already cooed approvingly at the Hennessey Venom, which is set to debut in the next several months. We take note of it only because of how familiar its formula is. Take a lightweight British roadster, slap in a fire-breathing American V8 (in this case, a 1,000 hp twin-turbo version of the Corvette ZR1’s mill), destroying the donor car’s immaculate balance and creating something that rates higher on the gee-whiz-ain’t-it-cool meter than on any remotely utilitarian measure. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t now, it might in a few decades, when Hennessey unsuccessfully attempts to sue enthusiasts who build replicas of its entirely unoriginal supercar.
The Lotus Elise has been refreshed for 2011 [via Autocar] to bring it more in line with its new flagship sibling, the Evora. In the process, the Evora’s ability to look more achingly beautiful in person than any photo would lead you to believe may just have been passed along. From these pictures, the Elise does seem to have lost a bit of the je ne sais quoi that put its predecessor on top of my quasi-realistic dream car list, but that’s alright. Even if the new looks don’t improve in person, the used models are more realistically obtainable. Besides, the Evora haunts my dreams more relentlessly than any car has in a while (helped not a little by rave reviews from such trusted sources as Dan Neil and evo Magazine). Don’t you worry about me.