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2010 Lotus Elite Concept 05 : Concept Cars

In an astonishingly audacious move, Lotus intends to burst out of its Spartan quasi-racer niche. It has announced the Elite, a car to challenge the high-profile luxury GT supercars -- Ferrari California, Aston Martin DB9, AMG SL, Corvette ZR1.

The Elite will be shown at the Paris salon, and is intended for production in spring 2014. Lotus is showing it this early because it obviously needs to make a whole new audience aware of the brand.

Power comes from a Lotus-developed version of the Lexus IS-F's five-liter V8. It makes 550 horsepower in 'base' trim, and 620 in R trim. Lotus says the R version will hit 62mph from rest in less than 3.5 seconds.

It's a super-high-tech engine. Supercharging gives it torque, and it uses direct gas injection at low load for better emissions, but switches to port injection higher up to get the punch. Scavenge oil pumps in the heads mean it can sustain high cornering g safely, and titanium valves allow it to rev to 8000 rpm.

The mid-front-mounted motor will drive the rear wheels through a seven-speed sequential transmission. Optionally, all four wheels will be driven via a version of the Lexus LS600h full-hybrid system, which cuts consumption on the Euro cycle by 40 percent. Oh, and there's a "boost button" on the steering wheel to call up every last electrical ampere for a burst of max acceleration.

Lotus already enjoys a successful relationship with Toyota, using its four-cylinder in the Elise and Exige, and its V6 in the Evora. So the adaptation of the V8 and hybrid drive is a continuation rather than an all-new cooperation. As Akio Toyoda said last week, when picking up the keys to his new Elise, "A Toyota engine in a Lotus car creates a completely unique feeling -- a special blend featuring the best of Lotus and Toyota that we hope many car lovers continue to enjoy."

The Elite to be shown at Paris has a glazed folding hardtop. It's also got what aircraft designers call a glass cockpit -- all-graphical driver-configurable virtual LCD instrumentation rather than hardware dials. Many controls are on the steering wheel.


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Sources : 2010 Lotus Elite Concept 05 Photo | 2010 Lotus Elite Concept 05 Article | 2010 Lotus Elite Concept 05 Photo 2 | 2010 Lotus Elite Concept 05 Interior Photo

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