A look at the history and development of all the Elans, describing each model in detail For all Lotus Elan owners and aspiring owners, this is complete resource offers a detailed history and development of all Elans. The Lotus Elan was Lotus's definitive roadster. It replaced the elegant but expensive Lotus Elite and was the first car to employ the innovative Lotus steel backbone chassis. The original Elan was produced as a two-seat, open-top sportscar and hardtop coupe from 1962-1973. The range was extended by the addition of the 2+2-seater coupe Plus 2 from 1967 to 1974. Lotus introduced an all-new front wheel drive Elan in 1989, the M100, which was produced until 1995.