First Look: Lotus' New Elite
Lotus further reinvents itself with a 612-HP grand tourer, set to go on sale in 2014.
Lotus Cars is giving us a first look at the Elite — a V8-powered, folding-hardtop grand tourer with an optional hybrid powertrain that Lotus says will go on sale in 2014. The Lotus Elite gets a public debut at this year's Paris Motor Show.
Under the hood of the 2+2 Elite is a 5.0-liter gasoline V8, rated at 612 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque driving the rear wheels. The engine has an 8,500-rpm limit and will push the car from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds to 3.7 seconds, Lotus says. Top speed is 195 mph.
The optional hybrid uses a kinetic-energy-recovery system, similar to the setup used in Formula One racing.
Lotus says the Elite measures 181.1 inches long, 74.8 inches wide and 52 inches tall, and the car weighs 3,638 pounds.
Production of the Lotus Elite will start in early 2014, Lotus says. It put an expected retail price of £115,000, or about $179,000 at current exchange rates, on the car.
In a press release, Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar 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 overdelivers 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."
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Don't bash the weight too much - sure, it is heaver than a Gallardo Superleggeria (which has a carbon fiber body, the Elite will be CF and Aluminum), but it is 300 pounds lighter than a Ferrari 458, and it has more power, too. Heck, it is lighter and more powerful than a Ferrari 599.
And it is only about 80 poinds heavier than a Lexus LF-A (also all-carbon-fiber body), and has more power than that, as well - interesting, seeing as the Lotus' V8 is a Lexus motor, and it packs more oomph than the LF-A V10. And the LF-A is twice the price, literally.
Good looking car...I think I will put a Lotus badge on my celica and save the 160k.
Impressive introduction by Lotus in a larger automobile. Power, that is horse power and torque are what drive American's and our market. I love this auto with the numbers of HP from the power plant also transcends to the numbers put down on the pavement. I just want to know how to keep the wheels from spinning to get from 0-60 in that 3.7 sec? Only the price will keep this impressive auto out the hands of most average "working" Americans. Oh, guess those most wealthiest Americans can use the extended tax breaks to purchase this automobile. Nothing wrong with that though. Black, I would chose mine in black.