So here it is, the Lotus Elite, the first taste of what’s to come from Lotus in the future. The new Lotus Elite – which is the first front-engined Lotus since the Elan of the early 90s – will be powered by a 5.0-litre V8, giving the 2+2 620bhp and the capacity to sprint from 0-62mph in around 3.5secs, and will get a retractable hard top as an option.
There’ll be no manual gearbox, just a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and transaxle layout, while a Formula One-style KERS hybrid system will be standard.
The Lotus Elite is rear wheel drive and weighs 1,650 kg.
The slick retractable hard top version and the optional use of hybrid technology with KERS are typical examples of Lotus tailoring technology to deliver perfect performance.
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus said: “There’s no denying that the Elite is breathtakingly beautiful to look at but it’s so much more than that, it’s a car that over delivers in all other aspects as well. One could say it’s a car of perfect contradictions, it’s compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, lightweight yet still reassuringly solid. It’s a car that we are exceptionally proud of at Lotus and we truly believe that there is nothing else like it out there both in terms of styling and performance.
“Make no mistake, there’s a definite market requirement for the Elite – it’s the ultimate sports car feel with comfort and space. There will always be those who believe that Lotus should stick to small sports cars but we didn’t take the decision to design something like the Elite lightly, it’s based on months of careful research and planning. It’s worth noting this sector has been very successful for us in the past and now the Elite raises the benchmark higher still.”
The new Lotus Elite will cost around £115,000 and will definitely go on sale in 2014.
Layout: 2+2 seater, front-mid-engined, rear wheel drive
Engine: Petrol, hybrid optional
Hybrid technology: Hybrid gearbox with integrated electric
motors and KERS
Capacity: 5.0 litre
Power/Torque: 620 PS / 720 Nm
Rev limit: 8,500 rpm
0-100 km/h: 3.5 to 3.7 seconds
Top speed: 315 km/h
CO? approx (CO?/km): 215 g/km**
Weight: 1,650 kg
Transmission: Full Hybrid transmission
Start of production: Early 2014
Enters the market: Spring 2014
Price indication: Circa £115,000