Paris Preshow: 2014 Lotus Elite GT with Lexus ISF 5.0 V8

Oooohweee, is Lotus getting ready to go big or what? After the announcement of its Evora S and IPS Auto variants, the lightweight brand is getting decidedly heavier with its 1,650 kg (3,600+ lb) Elite grand tourer.

Scheduled to debut in Paris and arrive in 2014, the Elite 2+2 - which inherits its name from a former Lotus looker - will be powered by a front-mid 5.0-liter V8 unit. The engine, which creates 620 horsepower, is believed to be a Lotus-tuned Lexus IS-F unit. Scroll down for the concept's full specs.

Taking a page from the Phil Alex handbook of writing for the blogosphere, here's an excerpt from the Lotus press release:

"So here it is, the Lotus Elite, the first taste of what's to come from Lotus in the future. Look up elegant in the dictionary and you'll find variations on the following 1. dignified grace in appearance, movement, or behaviour, 2. superb taste in design, style and 3. something elegant; the ultimate refinement."

Run-on sentences and grammar aside, let's give them a pat on the back.

Lotus's new Elite (not to be confused with its still mummified Esprit Ferrari hunter), is expected to get a retractable roof like Porsche's Targa and utilize optional systems like a hybrid powertrain and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).

Group Lotus CEO Danny Bahar says, "[The Elite is] a car that over-delivers in all other aspects...One could say it's a car of perfect contradictions; it's compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, lightweight yet still reassuringly solid...Make no mistake, there's a definite market requirement for the Elite... It's worth noting this sector has been very successful for us in the past and now the Elite raises the benchmark higher still."

While this is still labeled a "Production Intent Prototype", expect the road-going model to appear very similar to what you're looking at right now. More pics and details will be on their way as soon as we get a little closer to its big unveil in Paris.

By Phil Alex

Lotus Elite Specifications*

Layout: 2+2 seater, front-mid-engined, rear wheel drive
Dimensions: Length: 4.60m
Width: 1.90m
Height: 1.32m
Engine: Petrol, hybrid optional
Hybrid technology: Hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and KERS
Cylinder: V8
Capacity: 5.0 litre
Power/Torque: 620 PS / 720 Nm
Rev limit: 8,500 rpm
0-100 km/h: 3.5 to 3.7 seconds
Top speed: 315 km/h
CO2 approx (CO2 /km): 215 g/km**
Weight: 1,650 kg
Seats: 2+2
Transmission: Full Hybrid transmission
Drive: RWD
Start of production: Early 2014
Enters the market: Spring 2014
Price indication: Circa £115,000

[From Lotus Press Release] * Whilst the vehicle shown in this release is a Production Intent Prototype, it represents a concept vehicle being designed and developed by Lotus Cars. Lotus Cars reserves the right to change the external and internal design of the Production Intent Prototypes, the specification, performance, dimensions, weight, fuel consumption, powertrain details and any other product information at anytime and without notice for any reason whatsoever.

Details of performance, weight, fuel consumption and other production information relating to the Production Intent Prototypes are not official or proven figures and represent the intended performance, weight, fuel consumption and other product information of the Production Intent Prototypes.

The design, specification and performance figures for all Production Intent Prototypes will be confirmed following official testing and will be available from Lotus Cars.

The price quoted includes VAT at 17.5%.