A modern Elan could be one of the fruits of a new modular sports car platform being developed by Lotus, Autocar reported on Monday.
Citing company insiders, the British publication reported that a modern Elan has been proposed as a potential Porsche Boxster rival. It would be the third iteration of the Elan nameplate, which dates back to 1962, and be a softer, more mainstream offering to complement Lotus' track-focused sports cars.
A modern Elan was one of the ill-fated group of sports cars rolled out by Lotus at the 2010 Paris International Motor Show, back when the company was run by Dany Bahar and lacked funding to even renew its existing lineup. That isn't the case today as Lotus has a $2 billion backing from new owner Geely—a figure that's thought to be on the conservative side.
Phil Popham at the Lotus Evija launch
Having just launched the Evija battery-electric hypercar, the next model from Lotus will be a sports car based on the aluminum platform underpinning the Evora and featuring a focus on practicality and ergonomics, Lotus CEO Phil Popham revealed in March.
We're then likely to see Lotus' long-awaited SUV before the company redesigns the Elise, Exige and possibly the Evora on a new modular sports car platform combining aluminum and composite materials in its construction. Unfortunately, work on the new platform has only just started so the first models based on it are still three to four years away.
According to Autocar, Lotus' long-term goal, referred to by insiders as Vision 80, is to increase sales to around 10,000 units by the end of the decade, up from just 1,630 in 2018. Part of the plan is to also increase the business of the Lotus Engineering consulting division.