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by Mark Hacking

At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, niche carmaker Lotus stunned onlookers by unveiling no fewer than six future production cars in the space of 15 minutes: the Elise, Elan, Elite, Esprit, City Car Concept and, the subject of this particular report, the Eterne.

The driving force behind this wave of new product is Donato Coco, the design director who joined Lotus after a four-year tenure as chief of design for Ferrari and an earlier stint with Citroen. His swan song at the legendary Italian company—the Ferrari 458 Italia—gives some strong hints as to what to expect from Lotus down the road.

But why does the Eterne merit more close inspection than the others? Simple: Outright beauty combined with next-generation thinking. While all the future Lotus products have definite visual appeal, the Eterne sets the pace with its low, wide and downright mean presence.

Under the skin, this Lotus will receive a 5.0-litre petrol V8 mated to a hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and a brake energy regeneration system. The carmaker is calling for a combined output of 463 kW and 720 Nm of torque, a 0-100 km/h time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed of some 312 km/h. That should do nicely.

More: Lotus Eterne.




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