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