Lotus sharpens its focus
Automaker unveils a faster Elise and a special-edition Evora, indicating it might be making a run at the big boys in the sports-car arena.
Lotus is being a little more realistic here at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
After its extraordinary five-car unveiling at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the automaker is focusing its efforts on vehicles that will be available sooner rather than later.
That doesn't mean it's done with its current lineup. Lotus is showing off a faster Elise and a special Evora.
2012 Lotus Elise S
What is it? The Elise S is a 220-horsepower supercharged model, designed to replace the old SC. It promises more torque, more power and an even faster experience than before.
What's hot? Lotus says that the Elise S has more low-down torque to make it more usable in the city but that it also has improved fuel economy and lower carbon-dioxide emissions to keep the "green" brigade happy.
What's not? The Elise is quite old now. We're not sure an S model breathes any new life into it, especially considering that a new model is coming in the next few years. Also, the 1.6-liter Elise costs $55,000 or more, so the souped-up S isn't going to be cheap.
How much and when? Because the Elise S is an update to an existing model, we shouldn't be kept waiting long for it, but nothing has been confirmed. The price has yet to be announced.
MSN Autos' verdict: The previous Elise SC was an absolute riot, and we don't expect this one to be any different, which is a good thing.
2012 Lotus Evora GTE Road Car
What is it? What started off as a special edition for Asia has become a special edition for the rest of us. It's a road-going Evora with the fun bits borrowed from the GT racer.
What's hot? It has 420 horsepower, lots of torque and various aerodynamic tweaks. It's also 165 pounds lighter than a standard Evora, thanks to lightweight, carbon-fiber panels and other weight-loss techniques. With its extra power and less weight, we can expect it to go like stink.
What's not? It's only a limited edition, and word has it that Lotus reckons it's a car that can sell for six figures — proof that the brand really is out to chase Ferrari and Porsche.
How much and when? Pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed. But, as with the Elise, because it's a variant of an existing model, we won't be waiting long.
MSN Autos' verdict: Less weight, more power — the Evora finally looks to realize the potential we knew it had.
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