Lotus Exige 360 Cup-08

The Lotus Elise and its coupe version, the Exige, has been around for quite some time. According to Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, both cars have been riding on the same bonded extruded aluminium chassis that has been around for about 20 years. Naturally, you’d expect a replacement to come soon, right? Apparently not, as the Hethel boss has said there’s “at least another four years to go” before a replacement appears.

Speaking to Top Gear, Gales stated that even should a replacement come, it will stick with an extruded aluminium tub design, instead of a carbon-fibre tub similar to what the Alfa Romeo 4C employs. He cited the inflexibility of the carbon-fibre that cannot be extended like aluminium extrusions, and the high cost involved as reasons behind this decision.

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More importantly, there are plans for the next-generation Elise and Exige to be able to be sold in the US. Currently, both models are not available for the market due to the lack of necessary US-compliant safety equipment. The British automaker is poised to launch the Evora 400 there next year, with an Evora Roadster set to follow after, which Gales describes as a “good fit for the US market.”

He added that 400 orders for the new Evora have already been received in the US. Lotus has plans to increase its number of dealers worldwide from 202 to 250 by the end of 2016. Gales also stated about 40% of its customers outside Europe preferred to order their Lotus with an automatic gearbox. The ‘box is sourced from Toyota but with Lotus’ own software mapping.