Lotus has released photos of the next generation Lotus Elite, which will be revealed at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.
The press release from Lotus talks about redefining the “modern classic” while maintaining a significant dollop of “elegance”. The release goes on to say, “The ground-breaking new Elite is exactly that. Its compact yet chic body is elegance incarnate. It’s not only exquisitely elegant, in keeping with Lotus’ core values; it’s a car of substance incorporating some of the very latest technological innovations Lotus has to offer. 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.”
It’s a radical departure from the current generation Elise, with its front-mid-engine, rear wheel drive layout. The Lotus Elite is an impressive looking concept, but not nearly as impressive as some of the key performance specifications. Powered by a high-revving 5.0-litre V8 engine that produces 456 kW and 720 Nm, the Elite is said to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in around 3.7 seconds and is good for a top speed of 315 km/h. The Lotus Elite will be available with either a traditional or a hybrid powertrain, which when fitted means CO2 emissions will be relatively low for a supercar, at 215 g/km.
Although Lotus hasn’t provided any details on the hybrid elements of the Elite, they are calling the system KERS – which is likely to mean the battery power will be available in the form of a boost button, similar to the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid. The battery and KERS system is probably responsible for the 1 650 kilogram weight, which is rather portly by Lotus’ standards.
The estimated price tag seems a bit hefty too at £115 000, or roughly R1.3 million, but then again the Elite is clearly aiming for supercar status. The Elite is expected to go on sale towards the middle of 2014.