When you think Lotus, you think diminutive, somewhat stripped-back sportscars, but the company is signaling a new direction with the roll-out of the Elite production prototype at the Paris Motor Show later this month. The 2+2 Elite GT is, well, bigger – more room, more comfort, more weight (at 1650kg it's almost 300kg heavier than the Evora) and a front-mid positioned 5.0-litre V8 engine delivering up to 456kW and 720Nm of torque. There's also a hybrid technology option with Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) on offer as well as a retractable hardtop version. The promised performance specs are impressive – 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in around 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 315 km/h (195 mph). If you're in the market for a supercar in the US$180K price range you'll have to be patient though, the Lotus Elite isn't scheduled for production until 2014.