Paris: Lotus Shows off New Elan, Begs the Question: What will Happen to the Evora?

Next up on our Lotus debut circus is the Elan, a small 2-seater (with an optional 2+2 layout) sitting somewhere between the Evora and the Esprit. Looking very similar to the Esprit (and in the rest of the new Lotus coupes), the Elan gets its power from a high-output Toyota-sourced V6 and, also like its new big brother, optional KERS and hybrid systems. Scroll on down for all the Lotus-certified facts.

The big question here is what the Elan's task truly is. Could it be here to be a slightly different, higher-end Evora, or is it simply meant to replace it?

With that mid-mounted V6 and optional 2+2 layout it easily could be a replacement, but the 450 horsepower and £75,000 [equal to about US$119,000] starting price indicate the car is more of an addition to the lineup.

Though, by the time it comes out in the Fall of 2012, Lotus may have decided to ace the Evora in favor of attracting wealthier 2+2 buyers. We shall see.

Lotus CEO is extremely proud of the Elan, saying "The Elan will convert people to Lotus. I would challenge people not to become addicted to driving it. It will also go a long way towards dispelling the old misconceptions about this class, that in order to have high performance you must sacrifice usability – those days are gone." Sound like them's fighin' words. Porsche? Response (other than another 911)?

By Phil Alex