Lotus have taken the covers off their new Aston Martin DB9 rival ahead of the cars official unveiling at the Paris Motor Show.
The new car, expected to be launched in 2014, uses a ‘charged’ (no announcement on whether it will be super or turbo yet) 5.0L V8 from Lexus, teamed with Lotus’ own KERS (Kinetic Energey Recovery System), as well as two electric motors, making this a hybrid.
The Elite is expected to be available as either a 540 bhp standard car or a 610 bhp R model. Weighing 1860kg, the R version should be capable of a 0-62mph run of around 3.5 seconds while only producing 215g/km CO2. That’s 40% less than the DB9’s 367g/km.
Lotus CEO Dany Bahar calls the Elite “a car of perfect contradictions: compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, lightweight yet still reassuringly solid.”
The muscular design of the new car replaces the traditional Lotus ‘mouth’ with a squarer and more aggressive front-end which is likely to feature on all future Lotus models. There are no details yet about the interior except for the fact that Lotus are developing a new touch-screen system for all the major functions.
Bahar also said, “Make no mistake, there’s a definite market requirement for the Elite. It’s the ultimate compromise of sports car feel with comfort and space. There will always be those who say Lotus should stick to small sports cars, but we didn’t take the decision to design something like the Elite lightly. It is based on months of careful research and planning.”
Lotus are expected to release a version of the Elite with a retractable hard-top roof. It is not yet clear if there will be a full convertible version.
Lotus insiders say they are fully aware that quality and craftsmanship need to be ramped-up if they are to legitimately compete with Aston, Ferrari and Porsche in the £100,000+ sector.