In 2014, Lotus plans to offers a production version of it $179,000 Elite coupe concept to the public (well, to the members of the public with a pile of unwanted cash, anyway). Lotus has dished out a load of details about its Elite prior to its official unveiling in Paris, so here's what we now so far: The 3,637-pound Elite comes packing a 5.0-liter V8 engine that puts out 611 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, which Lotus claims is good for a 0-60 run in the 3.5-second range. We also know that Lotus plans to offer an optional hybrid system, utilizing the KERS setup. Lotus left us in the dark regarding the company responsible for supplying the Elite's hybrid hardware, but now a report suggests that the automaker providing the bits is none other than, yep, you guessed it, Toyota.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. Toyota has fashioned hybrid deals with numerous automakers and if you're in need of some gas-electric parts, Toyota is the go-to company. The Elite will reportedly feature a hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and the aforementioned KERS setup. Automotive News (sub. req.) quotes a Lotus official who apparently revealed the tie-up with Toyota, stating:
Toyota, as expected, would not comment on future plans, but the company did admit that it welcome deals with other automakers, "because we would like to see environmental technologies adopted and used as widely as possible."We are working with Toyota on powertrain solutions for our future cars, and this is part of the development but it is not an existing system.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]