• Sep 30, 2010
Lotus Elite Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Lotus continues its march towards global sportscar domination with the 2010 Paris Motor Show unveiling of the Lotus Elite. The Elite represents a step away from "lighter is better" because it is a hefty, four-passenger grand tourer – it weighs in at 3,600 pounds. One of the reasons it's so heavy? It has a retractable, folding hardtop. Don't let the weight throw you off though, this is a good looking, aggressively styled powerhouse. Under the hood sits a modified version of the 5.0-liter V8 out of a Lexus IS-F. The unit is then massaged to produce 611 horsepower which propels the car to a sub-four-second 0-60 time and a top speed of 195 miles per hour. The Elite will also be fitted with KERS for a quick boost of recovered energy.

The front mid-engine layout should help balance the Lotus Elite and make for an exciting driving experience. We expect this car to represent a slightly softer side for the automaker, but that's like saying we expect a bomb to hurt less than a missile. The entire Lotus lineup is poised in attack position, the Elite just happens to wear clothes from the Big and Tall store.

Lotus is aiming to bring this sporty road warrior to market sometime in the year 2014. If you invest your money wisely now, you just might be able to save the estimated $180,000 you'll need to put one in your driveway. Check out the Elite in action with a video clip after the jump.

Live photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Alright.. I take that back...

      This particular concept has Mazda6 headlights. The other ones don't though.
      The side profile is ALL Hyundai Genesis Coupe though!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This has to be one of the best looking cars I've ever seen. WOW!!! I'll start playing the lottery now I guess.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sweet looking Genesis coupe there.

      Seriously though, this is a sharp looking car that should give the Ferrari California a good run for it's money. It's just a shame this is what Lotus is going to do. Great car but I'll miss the old Lotus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seems like 'lighter' isn't better so much as 'anything Lotus designs' is better.

      Lotus designed the rigid chassis of the Nissan GT-R, and it benefits from flat cornering and minimal force transfer despite its high curb weight (thanks Lotus!)

      We complain a lot about modern 'sports cars' porking out, like the BMW ///M3, but let's face it... they are both faster AND more comfortable than the sports cars of old...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well said. It's also hard to ignore just how insanely good looking this car is. Probably the most beautiful of the new crop of Lotuses.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Damnit guys, you already posted about this today! Oh wait... never mind that was the Elan, or the Elise...? Maybe it was the Eterne? I don't care at this point, they all look exactly the same and they all spit in Colin Chapman's eye.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "YEAH I'm with these guys! I want Lotus to be small, and unprofitable!!

        What did you ask? Would I ever buy a Lotus? Good God no- you can't drive them every day."

        Some people need to realize that Lotus needs to make money. Making money means going more mainstream and going against the established marques. I am sure Colin Chapman would rather see a 2,400 lb Elise (a minor sacrifice) than no Elise at all.

        As for the difference in weight being minor enough to not be a selling point- show me a production car that has the Elise Concept's hp and is within 400 lbs of it. If you ask me, 400 lbs is nothing to sneeze at...

        • 4 Years Ago
        It is called FAMILY RESEMBLANCE.

        If you can't tell the difference between these:
        2-seat mid-engined sports car (Elise concept)
        2+2 hard-top mid-engined sport coupe (Elan concept)
        5-door Sport Sedan Concept (Eterne Concept)
        2-door GT hard-top convertible (Elite Concept)

        When they are actually two pairs... Elise and Elan are similar, Elite and Eterne are similar, like different bodystyles of two car lines.

        Then that is what is called "a you-problem."

        Elite is still the best looking of them, although none are bad.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Listen, I understand the concept of FAMILY RESEMBLANCE, but I was unaware that RESEMBLANCE meant slapping the same face on every chassis and then adding or subtracting doors where appropriate.

        You admit that the concepts are paired, and that they vary mainly in body style... can you see my point here?
        • 4 Years Ago
        My feelings exactly. Yeah its great they've brought 5 concepts to the show but if they weren't different colors I wouldn't know the difference!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lotus, please, pick one car. When you cook a dish for a party, you don't bring 5 plates of the same dish to the table, with varying amount of salt in it. It's just lame.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They all look far too similar.

        This is a pig for a Lotus too, 3,600 pounds? Woo boy!
        • 4 Years Ago

        BMW M6 is 500 hp, 4400 lbs, but only $100k

        I wonder what BMW could do with the M6 if they were going to sticker it at $180k like the Lotus.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Paint it green and put a yellow stripe down it's middle,.....and I'd forget about how much it weighs.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Elise - Mid Engine, Small - new, replaces existing
      Elan - Mid Engine, Medium - new
      Evora - Mid Engine, Big 2+2 - newish, in production
      Esprit - Mid Engine, Big Flegship - new

      Elite - Front Engine, Medium - new
      Eterne - Front Engine Hybird, Big - new

      Am I tracking this correctly?
      • 4 Years Ago


      I'm excited that lotus finally wants to build real cars.

      As much fun as thier current cars are...I wouldn't want to own one or drive it for long.

      Just bring the Lotus flavor to a super luxury coupe and the shall come.

      Great style. I'm finally impressed with Lotus
      • 4 Years Ago
      This cars interior looks a lot like the Lexus lfa. I wonder if Toyota provided more then just the engine for this car?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Brilliant car, retractable hard top, 611 horsepower from a 5L is good too. The big thing for me is the KERS system. I'm surprised it has come from F1 to the consumer market so quickly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's a bit Mazdary (Mazdery? Mazdarish? Mazdesque?) It looks like a Mazda concept.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most hilarious moment in the video:

      When the guy talks about how the design expresses lightness, then a few seconds later, you get an animation of the retractable hardtop.
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