2014 LOTUS ELITE
Revealed just days before Lotus unveiled a full six concepts and future models at the Paris Auto Show last month, the new 'third generation' Lotus Elite has proved to be something of a revolution for the British brand.
Described by Lotus as "the first taste of what's to come from Lotus in the future" and tentatively scheduled for a 2014 debut, the new Elite is a proper 2+2-seating GT supercar - with a retractable hardtop roof.
A new image and computer-animated video released today brings us our first glimpse of the Elite with its roof down.
Powered by a front-mid-mounted 5.0 litre V8 engine - a highly-modified version of the Lexus IS F's engine the Elite offers a huge 455kW.
Weighing in at 1650kg, Lotus says - and we believe it - that the Elite will rocket to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds, bringing it within 0.3 seconds of the Ferrari 458 Italia. Top speed is listed at 315km/h.
"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," Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said.
"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."