Lotus has released the first official images of the Elite with its roof down. Meant to rival the new Ferrari California, the Elite is set to go on sale in 2014.
This car will be fitted with a folding hood as standard to rival the California, as well as Mercedes’ SLS AMG Roadster and Aston Martin’s DB9 Volante.
Not many details are available about the Elite’s roof mechanism as the car still has a long way to go before reaching prototype stage.
But it is believed to be a combination of metal and glass, which keeps the weight down and allows light to enter the cabin when the hood is in place. The roof is fully electric and will fit into a space behind the rear passenger seats.
The front-engined rear-drive 2+2 will be powered by a 5.0-litre V8 engine, which is offered in ‘standard’ 542bhp form, and as a 612bhp ‘R’ version. Lotus boasts that the Elite can accelerate from zero to 60mph in around 3.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 195mph.
It will also be equipped with a seven-speed twin-clutch semi-auto box and F1-style KERS hybrid drive. This convertible has a price tag of about £115,000.