If this is a just a taste of what the new Lotus management have install for Lotus fans and aficionados, then by all means chaps, bring it on.
The press release from Lotus talks about redefining the “modern classic” while maintaining a significant dollop of “elegance”.
The PR blurb goes on to say, “The ground-breaking new Elite is exactly that. Its 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.”
It’s also a radical departure from the current generation Elise, with its front-mid-engine, rear wheel drive layout. Could this be Lotus’ version of Ferrari’s 599 GT perhaps?
It’s an impressive looking concept, but not nearly as impressive as some of the key performance specifications.
Armed with a potent 5.0-litre V8 said to produce 620 PS (456 kW) and 720 Nm, the rev limiter will kick in at around 8500 rpm and allow a top speed of 315 km/h and a 0-100km/h sprint in 3.5 to 3.7 seconds.
The emissions/performance ratio is low too with just 215g/km produced by the optional hybrid system.
At 1650 kilograms, the car’s weight is more than I would have expected, although, that probably accounts for the battery packs and KERS set-up.
Initial pricing estimates are also more than most Lotus fans would have expected, but frankly, the new Elite seems to be clearly gunning for supercar status and if that is so, then £115,000 (AUD$190,000) seems like more than a fair price.