THE Lotus story is opening up before our very eyes! Hot on the heels of its stunning six-car debut at the Paris Motor Show last week, the Norfolk-based firm has released these first official images of its new Ferrari California rival – the Elite – with its roof down.
Set to go on sale in 2014, the car will be fitted with a folding hood as standard to take the fight to the California, as well as Mercedes’ SLS AMG Roadster and Aston Martin’s DB9 Volante.
Although little is known about the Elite’s roof mechanism – the car is a long way from reaching prototype stage – it will be made of a combination of metal and glass. This will allow lots of light to enter the cabin when the hood is in place, but keep overall weight down. Fully electric, it will tuck into a space behind the rear passenger seats. Power for the front-engined rear-drive 2+2 will come from a 5.0-litre V8, available in ‘standard’ 542bhp form, and as a 612bhp ‘R’ version.
Lotus claims the Elite will do 0-60mph in around 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 195mph. It will also get a seven-speed twin-clutch semi-auto box and F1-style KERS hybrid drive.
Lotus says the convertible will be priced at around £115,000.