With production of Toyota’s 2ZZ four-cylinder engine coming to an end, and with the smart airbag exemption also about to expire, 2011 will be the last year for the Lotus Elise and Exige in North America. Lotus is giving the two models one last hurrah, releasing three extremely limited special editions, including the Elise SC Final Edition, Exige Matte Black Final Edition, and Exige S260 Final Edition.
Lotus will import a select number of the limited edition cars into the U.S. and Canada, each with their own unique features. The Elise SC Final Edition will arrive with the optional supercharged 218-hp engine, and matte black-accented bodywork. Just 15 models are slated for production at a cost $57,500 each. The Exige gets two special models, each equipped with the optional supercharged and intercooled 257-hp engine. As the name suggests, the Exige Matte Black Final Edition is dipped in an exclusive satin-finished black paint. The Exige S260 Final edition can be had in any paint color in Lotus’ color wheel, and also receives a set of black five-spoke forged alloy wheels. The S260 Final Edition starts at $67,500, with 30 units destined for America. The Matte Black Final Edition rings up at $69,900 with a total of 25 copies heading to our shores.
Although these special editions mark the end of the Elise and Exige in the U.S. market, the two cars will continue to be sold in other markets until the next-generation Elise arrives in 2015. That car is expected to grow in size, possibly losing some of the hardcore performance aura the nameplate earned during its first and second generations. Whether that proves to be the case remains to be seen, but if you’ve wanted to buy a new current-gen Elise or Exige, act fast: this is likely your last chance.