For a company that only has one car left in its lineup (at least in North America), Lotus sure has a lot going on. The automaker has announced the debut of what will amount to six new models at the Frankfurt Auto Show. To be more specific, however, there will be three new cars, two new options for existing cars and one special very special limited edition.
Of the three new models Lotus is being mostly secretive, except to say that one will be "one of the quickest road cars" the company has ever built. The second, (believed to be a rally version of the Exige), will bring Lotus into competition racing in yet another series. As for the third, Lotus is revealing more. A replacement for the Elise SC, the new 'Elise S' will make use of a new supercharged 1.8-liter engine to deliver 220-hp. (It will not, however, be offered in North America).
As for the two new options, both will be "automatic" transmission models. The first is the expected Evora S IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) automatic while the second (sacrilege alert!) will be called the Elise SPS. The info at this point is vague, but Lotus refers to it as a "robotised automated manual transmission" with paddle shifters mounted to the steering column. So is it an automatic or a manual.. or perhaps a dual-clutch? We'll find out at Frankfurt.
Finally, Lotus will unveil a production version of the Evora GTE Road Car Concept, with a 444-hp supercharged V6 engine, making it the most powerful Lotus ever built. In addition, this special model will weigh 232 lbs less than the standard Evora. Initially built only for China, Lotus claims all 114 orders were filled "within days", resulting in the expansion of the offering to other markets. What those other markets are have not yet been revealed, but having sat in the concept model at Pebble Beach, we'll gladly pay off whichever government official necessary to have this race car made legal on our streets.