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Lotus Drops 5-Car Surprise At Paris Preview

British maker’s grand transformation includes sedan, hybrid – and lightweight sports cars.

by on Oct.01, 2010

The Lotus Elite is one of five new models coming from the British maker over the next few years.

The long-struggling British sports car maker, Lotus, gave us a wee tease of what they had in mind for the Paris Motor Show, some weeks back, when they released some tantalizing shots of the Elite concept vehicle.

Little did we – or, apparently, anyone else – suspect the much bigger news that would emerge at the Mondial de l’Automobile, a roll-out of five new concept vehicles intended to put in motion a grand reinvention of the Lotus brand.

The first model we got a glimpse of was the Lotus Elite (Click Here for the full story).  Set to go into production in April 2013, according to CEO Dany Bahar, the 2+2 will make elegant use of the new relationship between Lotus and Toyota Motor Co.  The Japanese giant has agreed to provide the muscle to move the Lotus brand from niche to mainstream, quite literally.

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Live From Paris!

For the Elite Concept, that means a mid-mounted V8 that drives a high-performance hybrid driveline – putting Lotus in line with all the other sporty and high-line brands that have come to Paris with electrified sports cars.  A “perfect contradiction,” suggests Bahar of the idea of putting the promisingly green technology into a high-performance model like Elite.

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First Look: Lotus Elite

Hybrid muscle aims to move British brand from niche to mainstream.

by on Sep.21, 2010

Lotus enters the hybrid era with the Elite Concept.

The newly-expanded alliance between Toyota and Britain’s Lotus will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show, later this month.  And if all goes according to plan, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is determined to transform the brand from a niche to a relatively mainstream player.

The Lotus Elite concept will serve as the British marque’s new flagship when it makes the transition from show car to production model in April 2013, the maker says.  Whether it will maintain the high-tech hybrid system remains to be seen, however.

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Paris Preview!

In concept form, the Lotus Elite uses a front-mid-mounted V8 linked to an epicyclic transmission that is linked to a pair of electric motors.  As with the gasoline-electric systems under development by competitors ranging from Porsche to Ferrari, the goal is to boost mileage, to meet future American CAFE standards, drive down CO2 emissions, to comply with tough new European regulations – and provide some added torque for even more aggressive performance.

The Lotus Elite concept initially brings to mind the design language of an Aston-Martin.

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