You’re looking at an all new model for the Lotus brand, it’s called the Elite. In the video below it is described as a “gentleman’s car”. Basically it’s a 2+2 grand tourer fitted with the same 620PS 5.0 litre V8 from the new Esprit.
Lotus CEO, Dany Bahar, says the company is moving with the times by providing a more luxurious sportscar. What he’s really doing is softening the blow made by the Elite’s 1650kg weight, which is starting to push the boundaries of Colin Champan‘s legacy of “simplify and add lightness”.
Bahar continues his defence accordingly, â€œMake no mistake, thereâ€™s a definite market requirement for the Elite â€“ itâ€™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 didnâ€™t take the decision to design something like the Elite lightly, itâ€™s based on months of careful research and planning.â€
The Elite continues the new visual language so clearly defined at Paris this year and it’s certainly no slouch. Able to reach 100km/h in 3.7 seconds before achieving a v-max of 315km/h the Elite is due to go on sale in the second half of 2014.
More pics, video and official press release are available after the break.
Lotus Elite: The Vision
A New British Expression of Exclusivity
Look up elegant in the dictionary and youâ€™ll find variations on the following:
1. dignified grace in appearance, movement, or behaviour, 2. superb taste in design, style and 3. something elegant; the ultimate refinement.
The ground-breaking new Elite is exactly that. Itâ€™s compact yet chic body is elegance incarnate. Itâ€™s not only exquisitely elegant, in keeping with Lotusâ€™ core values, itâ€™s a car of substance incorporating some of the very latest technological innovations Lotus has to offer. The slick retractable hard top and the optional use of hybrid technology with KERS are typical examples of Lotus tailoring technology to deliver perfect performance.
Set for release in spring 2014, this is an innovative, exciting GT that will set a new benchmark in design, performance and emissions. And itâ€™s not all about sleek lines and stunning bodywork with this particular 2+2, what hides beneath this shark like exterior perfectly does the aesthetics justice. A front-mid positioned 5.0 litre V8 engine delivering up to 620 PS meaning drivers can expect to go from 0-100 km/h in approximately 3.7 seconds.
Dany Bahar, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus, said: â€œThereâ€™s no denying that the Elite is breathtakingly beautiful to look at but itâ€™s so much more than that, itâ€™s a car that over delivers in all other aspects as well. One could say itâ€™s a car of perfect contradictions, itâ€™s compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, lightweight yet still reassuringly solid. Itâ€™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.
â€œMake no mistake, thereâ€™s a definite market requirement for the Elite â€“ itâ€™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 didnâ€™t take the decision to design something like the Elite lightly, itâ€™s based on months of careful research and planning. Itâ€™s worth noting that total 2+2 production represented over 20 per cent of Lotus build between 1948 and 1996 (pre small car platform) and 11 per cent over all, this sector has been very successful for us in the past and now the Elite raises the benchmark higher still.â€
The Elite will redefine â€œmodern classicâ€.
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: 3.7 seconds
Top speed: 315 km/h
CO2 approx (CO2/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 Â£115,000
*Using optional hybrid technology