they want to disassociate themselves from the cheap elise and exige.
Your argument is invalid. A new Elise can go for 55K, a new Exige can go for 75K. And yet, they make it very clear that the 2015 Elise target price was 55K, smack in the middle of the current Elise/Exige offerings.
Its not like Lotus doesn't have a history of making expensive cars. The Evora is a underpowered turd at 90K and the Esprit was 90K a decade ago. Lotus is simply making cars that fit within todays marketplace with todays consumer expectations and the price comes along with it.