It's been three years now since Lotus stopped selling the Elise and Exige in North America, leaving the Evora as its only model available Stateside. But according to the latest from Car and Driver, even that model is on its way out.

The problem reportedly comes down to air bags. Lotus was granted a temporary exemption from fitting the latest-generation smart airbags to the Evora, but that exemption is set to expire at the end of the year. And once it does, Lotus apparently has no intention of developing and fitting the proper equipment to allow it to continue selling the Evora in the United States.

Once the Evora is gone from our market, Lotus will be reduced to selling only track-bound versions of the Elise and Exige in the US, so the prospect of actually buying a new Lotus and driving off the dealer lot will vanish into thin air.

The development marks an even further low point for the storied British automaker. In the past few years, the company has fired its chief executive, scrapped its entire resurgence plan, changed ownership and is now preparing to lay off a quarter of its workforce. Here's hoping that the company's new chief executive Jean-Marc Gales can turn things around, because it would be a crying shame to see Lotus drop any further.

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