Lotus has finally revealed it’s plans for the much-anticipated supercar, which will be given the legendary Elite designation. We are not sure if this model is the much-talked about Esprit replacement as the Elite name was used before, both in 1958 and 1974. However the supercar signals the company’s foray into Ferrari and Aston Martin territory. In the press release, the Elite has been described as “ultimate refinement”.

The public will be the judge of that, but no doubt design has progressed slightly, which should help in its quest to compete with the big boys. I must admit that the prototype pictured here does point to a pretty good looking production car.

The 2+2 Elite will be offered with a retractable hard top. It will house a force-inducted 5.0 litre V8 engine (which hasn’t been confirmed whether this will be turbocharged or supercharged) that is set to pump out 612hp and 720Nm of torque. Lotus also mentioned that there will be an optional hybrid system which will be made up by a hybrid gearbox integrated with two electric motors and a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).

At the moment it is not certain if the above mentioned power figures take the hybrid system’s output into account, although judging from the high numbers, it is likely that power from the alternative source has been included. Weighing in at about 1,650kg, the car can accelerate to 100km/h in around 3.5 to 3.7 seconds, up to a top speed of 315km/h. This also gives it approximately 215g/km of CO2 emissions output.

“There’s no denying that the Elite is breathtakingly beautiful to look at but it’s so much more than that, it’s a car that over delivers in all other aspects as well. One could say it’s a car of perfect contradictions, it’s compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, lightweight yet still reassuringly solid. It’s a car that we are exceptionally proud of at Lotus and we truly believe that there is nothing else like it out there both in terms of styling and performance,” said Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus.

This front mid -engined, rear wheel drive car will be put into production in early 2014 with a market debut in the second quarter in the same year. Prices are unconfirmed, but is expected to be at around the £115 000 mark. Look for a high-res picture gallery after the jump.

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