Lotus Elite


We’re still scratching our heads over why Lotus decided all the cars it unveiled in Paris needed some celebrity to help pull off the dust cover. Naomi Campbell, Mickey Rourke and Stephen Baldwin looked equally confused as to what they were doing at an auto show—that is, other than collecting a hefty check for a non-speaking role.

When the strangest press conference of the day finally ended, the cars (thankfully) spoke for themselves. While it would be easy to give top marks to the Lotus Esprit Concept, we’ll go out on a limb and give the nod to the Elite. Hey, let’s face it, you expect the 2-passenger Esprit to look like a million bucks…and it does. Job well done, Lotus.

But grafting sporty lines onto a notoriously awkward 2+2 passenger layout is always difficult. Lotus balanced the extra seating and streamlined styling beautifully. The front-engine, rear-drive Elite is powered by a 620-bhp 5.0-liter V-8. An optional KERS hybrid system should also be available when the car goes on sale in 2013.

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