2014 Lotus Elite, made public at Paris Autoshow

Monday, October 11, 2010

2014 Lotus Elite with Lexus ISF EngineAs brilliant as its chassis dynamics are, Lotus has been in need of a design revolution for some time now. And now you're looking at it. These are the first images and details released on the much anticipated new Lotus Elite, set to be unveiled in a little over a week from now at the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show.

You can plainly see from the photos that the Elite marks a styling departure from the language spoken by the likes of the Elise and Evora. This svelte GT's lines represent what recently hired designer Donato Coco has planned for future Lotus vehicles, and comes wrapped around a front/mid-engined 2+2 shape. The show car actually showcases a retractable hardtop – a first for Lotus and a potential shocker to company founder Colin Chapman's ethos of extreme weight savings, the car tipping the scales at 1650 kg (3600 lbs).

Underneath that front hood sits a version of the 5.0-liter V8 from the Lexus IS F, coupled to unique automatic transmission with optional integrated hybrid boost. With a massive 611 horsepower on tap, Lotus estimates 0-62 mph times in a scant 3.6 seconds (give or take) and its 315 km/h (195 mph) top speed should be enough to propel it into the supercar leagues. The car you see here is a conceptual preview of the production model, slated to hit the market in 2014 with an approximate £115,000 ($180k) price tag.