Lotus reveals new Elite

Lotus has revealed pictures of its aggressive new 2+2 V8 coupe that will go on sale in 2014 and wear the famous Elite badge, the third such model in Lotus' 52-year history.

The Elite marks a change in direction in more ways than one for the Norfolk-based company. The styling is sharper than on recent models and the car will weigh in at 1680kg - more than three times the weight of the original 1957 Elite.

The new car already clearly shows Lotus' intended new emphasis on luxury over lightness, and controversially for enthusiasts, will not be available with a manual shift, going on sale with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The Toyota-sourced engine will be the 5.0-litre V8 from the Lexus LS600h, mated with a Lexus hybrid transmission and two electric motors, with power expected to range from 540bhp up to 611bhp for the R-badged tuned version.

Lotus will make modifications to the engine, though it is not yet clear whether that means turbocharging or supercharging.

The cost is expected to be over £100,000, as Lotus aims to compete directly with Porsche and Aston Martin.

Company boss Dany Bahar has said that the decision to build the car wasn't taken lightly, and was the result of months of planning.

The Elite will be formally unveiled at the Paris motor show at the end of this month.
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