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Lotus Elite supercar set for Paris debut

Light and fast Elite will go on sale in 2014

Lotus has released official details of its all-new Elite model, set to wow the crowds at the Paris Motor Show. The new Lotus Elite won’t go on sale until 2014, but advanced technology means it should be worth the wait.

'Compact but spacious' new Elite

‘Compact but spacious’ new Elite

Striking styling

Beyond the styling – which Lotus describes as ‘shark-like’ – the Elite promises a 5.0-litre petrol V8 delivering as much as 611bhp.

The Elite is front-engined with rear-wheel drive, and there will be a retractable hard-top version.

Looking at the official images, you can just make out the joins in the roofline where the hardtop folds. In spite of this and the large engine, Lotus is targeting a relatively slight 1,650kg kerb weight.

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Incredible performance and economy

New Elite has 'shark-like' styling

New Elite has ‘shark-like’ styling

As you’d expect, the combination of low weight and lots of power should make for scintillating performance.

Lotus is claiming 3.5-3.7 seconds to 62mph, and a top speed of 195mph. The exact origins of the engine are so far unclear, but both its performance and economy are enhanced through the use of an optional Formula 1-style KERS hybrid device.

KERS stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System. The exact form the KERS will take hasn’t been revealed, but the essence of the device will be to recover energy that would otherwise be lost, and reuse it to provide additional acceleration or reduce fuel consumption. This explains the projected 215g/km CO2 rating for the Elite, which would be a significant achievement for such a powerful car.

Is Lotus planning more cars for Paris?

A retractable hardtop version is expected

A retractable hardtop version is expected, too

At 4.6m in length, 1.9m wide and 1.32m tall, the new Elite is ‘compact but spacious’ according to its makers – but no doubt many will find Lotus’ decision to move into building bigger cars a surprise.

Lotus, however, is adamant that there is a market for such a vehicle – even at a projected asking price of £115,000.

This new Elite is far from motor show bluster, either. Lotus describes it as a ‘production intent prototype’. What’s more, Lotus has confirmed it won’t be the only new car on its Paris Motor Show stand – but precisely what else is in store is yet to be revealed.

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