The new 2+2 seater Lotus Elan is positioned somewhere in between the Lotus Elise and the Esprit, and it has its engine positioned in the mid-engine position, with rear wheel drive. Lotus says the Elan will be powered by a 4.0 litre V6 making 450 PS and 465Nm of torque, which can take the Elan up to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds.

This V6 engine could also be sourced from Toyota as the Japanese company has the 1GR-FE installed mainly in its trucks and SUVs. Toyota themselves have force inducted the engine – their TRD division offers a TRD supercharger kit for the engine used in the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota FJ Cruiser trucks.

The Elan will hit the market much earlier than the other larger and more expensive cars we’ve seen here – it will also be released before the next generation Elise. Lotus is targeting a summer 2013 start of production, with cars hitting the showrooms in autumn 2013, just 3 years from now.

“If there was ever a car to make you drive the long way home, it’s the Elan. Perfect for both road and track, the Elan not only ticks all the boxes, it creates new ones too. The Elan will convert people to Lotus, I would challenge people not to become addicted to driving it. It will also go a long way towards dispelling the old misconceptions about this class, that in order to have high performance you must sacrifice usability – those days are gone,” said Lotus CEO Dany Bahar. The black cabin showcased on the Paris 2010 concept car certainly looks nice – I think it’s the best of all the Lotus concepts. The Elan looks like a 911 competitor?

Look after the jump for pix, specs and a video of the Lotus Elan.

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