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By Drew Johnson

Just 10 days before its scheduled debut at the Paris Motor Show, Lotus has taken the wraps off its all-new Elite. Showing Lotus’ up-scale push, the all-new GT will go head-to-head with vehicles like the Ferrari California.

Designed as a “modern classic”, the Elite sports a new exterior design for the British automaker, although a few ties to Lotus’ current lineup remain. Lotus designers look to have taken a few design cues from Mazda and Maserati, but the Elite remains a unique looking vehicle and sticks to Lotus’ new ‘elegant’ design philosophy.

Lotus failed to release any interior shots on the Elite, but its sleek shape is hiding a 2+2 seating configuration.

In order to better compete with Ferrari, the Elite will be available with a retractable hardtop. However, hardtop versions of the Elite won’t exactly be ‘lightweight and simple’, weighing in at a very un-Lotus like 3,637 pounds.

But that added weight doesn’t mean the Elite will be a performance slouch, thanks to its front mid-mounted 5.0L V8. Presumably the same engine found under the hood of the Lexus IS F, Lotus engineers have spent some time tweaking the mill, upping its power to 620 horsepower. Lotus says the Elite will be capable of accelerating from 0-62 in as little as 3.5 seconds.

No fuel economy figures were released but the Elite should be a little less thirsty that you average supercar. The Elite will use a KERS hybrid transmission, which has been shown to improve fuel economy by as much as 20 percent in other applications.

Although the Elite will make its official debut in 10 days, potential buyers will have to wait quite a bit longer. The Elite isn’t slated to hit Lotus dealerships until early 2014. On the plus side, that should give buyers plenty of time to save up the $180,000 required to purchase the Elite.



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Paris Preview: Lotus Elite shows the way forward with slick new GT

by Noah Joseph (RSS feed) on Sep 20th 2010 at 8:56AM

As 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.

Follow the jump for the full press release, check out the initial images in the gallery below and watch this space for more as we set sail for the Port de Versailles next week.

[source: Lotus]

Show full PR text

The Lotus Elite

....enjoy the new British Expression of Exclusivity

Ten days ahead of the official unveil at the Paris Motor Show the sun starts to rise for the dawn of Lotus' new era - the Elite will redefine "modern classic".

So here it is, the Lotus Elite, the first taste of what's to come from Lotus in the future. Look up elegant in the dictionary and you'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. It's 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.

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."

Set for release in spring 2014, this is an innovative, exciting GT that will set a new benchmark in design, performance and emissions. And it'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 5.0l V8 engine delivering up to 620 PS meaning drivers can expect to go from 0-100 km/h in approximately 3.5 to 3.7 seconds.



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Paris Preshow: 2014 Lotus Elite GT with Lexus ISF 5.0 V8


Oooohweee, is Lotus getting ready to go big or what? After the announcement of its Evora S and IPS Auto variants, the lightweight brand is getting decidedly heavier with its 1,650 kg (3,600+ lb) Elite grand tourer.

Scheduled to debut in Paris and arrive in 2014, the Elite 2+2 - which inherits its name from a former Lotus looker - will be powered by a front-mid 5.0-liter V8 unit. The engine, which creates 620 horsepower, is believed to be a Lotus-tuned Lexus IS-F unit. Scroll down for the concept's full specs.

Taking a page from the Phil Alex handbook of writing for the blogosphere, here's an excerpt from the Lotus press release:

"So here it is, the Lotus Elite, the first taste of what's to come from Lotus in the future. Look up elegant in the dictionary and you'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."

Run-on sentences and grammar aside, let's give them a pat on the back.

Lotus's new Elite (not to be confused with its still mummified Esprit Ferrari hunter), is expected to get a retractable roof like Porsche's Targa and utilize optional systems like a hybrid powertrain and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).

Group Lotus CEO Danny Bahar says, "[The Elite is] a car that over-delivers in all other aspects...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...Make no mistake, there's a definite market requirement for the Elite... It's worth noting this sector has been very successful for us in the past and now the Elite raises the benchmark higher still."

While this is still labeled a "Production Intent Prototype", expect the road-going model to appear very similar to what you're looking at right now. More pics and details will be on their way as soon as we get a little closer to its big unveil in Paris.

By Phil Alex

Lotus Elite Specifications*

Layout: 2+2 seater, front-mid-engined, rear wheel drive

Dimensions: Length: 4.60m

Width: 1.90m

Height: 1.32m

Engine: Petrol, hybrid optional

Hybrid technology: Hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and KERS

Cylinder: V8

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

CO2 approx (CO2 /km): 215 g/km**

Weight: 1,650 kg

Seats: 2+2

Transmission: Full Hybrid transmission

Drive: RWD

Start of production: Early 2014

Enters the market: Spring 2014

Price indication: Circa £115,000

[From Lotus Press Release] * Whilst the vehicle shown in this release is a Production Intent Prototype, it represents a concept vehicle being designed and developed by Lotus Cars. Lotus Cars reserves the right to change the external and internal design of the Production Intent Prototypes, the specification, performance, dimensions, weight, fuel consumption, powertrain details and any other product information at anytime and without notice for any reason whatsoever.

Details of performance, weight, fuel consumption and other production information relating to the Production Intent Prototypes are not official or proven figures and represent the intended performance, weight, fuel consumption and other product information of the Production Intent Prototypes.

The design, specification and performance figures for all Production Intent Prototypes will be confirmed following official testing and will be available from Lotus Cars.

The price quoted includes VAT at 17.5%.



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