The Lotus Elise and Exige have reached the end of the line. Lotus says it will stop production of the enthusiast-oriented, mid-engine sports cars for the North American market by the end of the month, finishing off with three limited-production, special-edition models destined solely for the US and Canada.
The three special-edition models commemorating the end of production consist of one Elise variant and two Exiges. Limited to 15 units, the Elise SC Final Edition - available only in ardent red, chrome orange, aspen white and carbon gray - includes a new rear diffuser, a leather steering wheel, air conditioning and MP3 capability. The Elise SC Final Edition also includes a limited-slip differential and a previously optional touring package, which adds leather trim to the convertible's doors, handbrake and center console.
End-of-the-line Exige models are called the Matte Black Final Edition and the S260 Final Edition. The Exige Matte Black Final Edition includes a matte black finish and unique rear diffuser on the outside, along with Alcantara trim, traction control, adjustable suspension and sport seats on the inside. The Exige S260 Final Edition includes many of the same interior and exterior goodies as the Matte Black model, but offers a wider range of non-matte color choices. Lotus plans to build just 25 Matte Black models and 30 Exige S260 Final Editions.
According to Lotus, production of the revered sports cars is scheduled to stop due to a lack of engine supply. Elise and Exige models sold in the US use Toyota's 1.8-liter "2ZZ" four-cylinder, which is no longer in production. The automaker says a convertible version of its four-seater Evora will debut soon, giving Lotus buyers an open-top sports car option in the Elise's absence.
Lotus says pricing for the Elise SC Final Edition starts at $58,625, while the Exige Matte Black and S260 go for $71,025 and $68,625 respectively. We expect the special editions to begin arriving at dealers this fall.