It’s motor show time, so Lotus have given us another riddle to solve – 3 new cars, 2 new options AND 1 special limited edition. Thankfully they’ve given us part of the answer, but they’re keeping 2 of the new models a secret until they’re revealed on 13 September in Frankfurt.
You’re entitled to feel somewhat confused if the next few paragraphs leave you wondering what happened to Lotus’ New Era plans (Esprit, Elan, Elite, New Elise, Eterne and City Car) – they’re coming, albeit later than originally advertised and with some models likely to be postponed indefinitely, but in the meantime something has to pay the bills, so we’re in for a few last hurrahs and special editions while we wait.
Three new models and one special edition
The first new model is the Elise S, which replaces the Elise SC with a new 1.8-litre supercharged engine capable of delivering 217 bhp and a power delivery which results in even more torque. Lotus are promising improved throttle response together with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than the outgoing Elise SC.
We’ll have to wait until Frankfurt to find out about the other two models, all Lotus will say at this stage is they include one of the quickest road cars Lotus has ever built and the other marks the return of Lotus to another adrenalin filled motorsport discipline.
Frankfurt will also see the introduction of Lotus’s 438 bhp Evora GTE road car, the most powerful Lotus road car ever built. Originally designed as a special limited edition for the Asian market, Lotus have now announced that production will be expanded on the Evora GTE road car to meet the demand of other markets.
The Evora GTE makes extensive use of lightweight materials, with carbon fibre used extensively throughout the exterior and interior of the car. The result is a weight reduction of 105kg versus the base Evora.
Commenting on the Evora GTE road car, Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “The response to this model in China has been so incredible, within days we had sold out with 114 orders. In response we decided that the only logical step from a business perspective was to increase production and widen our reach.
“What is unique about this car, is not just that it’s a serious race car – it’s a serious car. People get so excited when they see and especially hear it for the first time. It’s a very special car and will appeal to a very special type of driver – and they won’t be disappointed!”
Two new options
Serial Precision Shift (SPS) and Intelligent Precision Shift (IPS), a new lightweight robotised automated manual transmission for the 1.6-litre Elise and an automatic gearbox designed for the 3.5-litre V6 Evora S.
SPS enables the driver to switch between manual and automatic driving modes via paddles fixed to the steering column, giving an even more direct connection with the road, whilst IPS also offers an optional paddle shift mode with the added bonus of being able to switch to automatic mode for more relaxing journeys.
The S IPS will feature in the Evora model year 2012 line-up and feature on the Lotus stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show.