A new Lotus Elan could target the Porsche Boxster — if Lotus can actually get it into production

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November 07, 2019 10:30 AM

A new Lotus Elan could target the Porsche Boxster — if Lotus can actually get it into production

The British boutique automaker has Porsche models in its sights, but a volume SUV is its first priority

Jay Ramey

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Lotus

Lotus brought an Elan concept to the 2010 Paris motor show but ended up not putting it into production at the time.

Lotus is thinking about bringing back the Elan in addition to other nameplates from its past, Autocar reports. The boutique British automaker is developing a new, rivet-bonded platform that will replace the Exige and the Elise architecture, which dates back to the 1990s, and is also updating the Evora, which a decade old at this point. 
If the plans roll ahead (a big if, considering the company’s recent history) the Elan will become the third-generation model to bear the name, which dates all the way back to 1962. The planned Elan, expected to target the Porsche Boxster, is part of whole new family of cars: Lotus is developing a full model range for the first time, instead of one model at a time, committing at least 1.5 billion pounds to the 10-year development plan dubbed Vision 80. But the Elan won’t get here before the current Evora is updated next year, Autocar notes.
The next Elan is expected to keep the rivet-bonded alloy core — this approach works best for Lotus’ small volume — but it will also use a lot of the tech available from corporate parent Geely’s parts bin, which will be helpful when it comes to electronic systems. The platform that Lotus is developing is expected to underpin other models as well, including a successor to the Esprit supercar, which has been a long-term goal for Lotus as well, Autocar notes.

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Simplify, then add truckness: Lotus SUV patent images emerge

This isn’t the first time Lotus has considered bringing back one of its most popular models, but the company’s current focus is on launching an SUV, which was leaked in patent filings just a couple of years ago. The still-unnamed SUV model has been spotted testing this year, disguised as a Lynk & Co. model, with Lotus expected to target the Porsche Cayenne when it comes to the performance characteristics of its SUV, if not its exact size. The new SUV model is expected to be closer in size to the Macan, and it’s likely to land next year as a 2021 model. 
When it comes to the Elan, those plans are a little further down the road — Lotus’ first priority is getting the SUV out of the testing stage and into dealerships as a volume model. A volume model for an automaker of Lotus’ size, anyway; we’re still talking production figures in the low thousands. Lotus sold just 1,630 vehicles in 2018.
Being under Geely’s wing could bring a quick boost in volume if needed, but that’s not what Lotus is necessarily interested in, having cultivated its own small audience over the decades. Whether that audience will be more interested in a new Elan versus a new SUV remains to be seen.

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Source:https://autoweek.com/article/rumor-mill/new-lotus-elan-could-target-porsche-boxster-if-lotus-can-actually-get-it

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