The Series 1 could not be produced beyond the 2000 model production year due to new European crash sustainability regulations, so Lotus needed a development partner to meet the investment requirement for a Series 2 car. GM offered to fund the project, in return for a badged and GM-engined version of the car for their European brands, Opel/Vauxhall.
The Series 2 Elise, announced on 9 October 2000, was a redesigned Series 1 using a slightly modified version of the Series 1 chassis to meet the new regulations, and the same K-series engine with a brand new Lotus-developed ECU.
Both the Series 2 Elise and the GM derivatives were built on the same production line, in a new facility at Hethel. Both cars shared many parts, including the chassis, although they had different drive-trains and power-plants. Fitted with 17 inch over the Elise's 16 inch front wheels, the Vauxhall/Opel version ceased production in late 2005.