brand recognition is needed to sell cars. not the other way around. What you're suggesting is they sell the cars for cheaper than their competition so they can move upmarket. It's like trying to be a better art gallery by selling cheaper art. The whole idea of going upmarket is based on the principle that one person is willing to pay much more than another person for a functionally equivalent item.Again 70K for a loaded Base model and 80K for a loaded "S" model!! Those are realistic numbers. They need to get cars on the road to build brand recognition before an upmarket move will succeed!!!
I truly believe the success of Lotus going upscale is entirely dependent on their ability to market themselves. Undercutting the competitor's prices might be a good short term strategy if funding was needed, but would slow the pace at which they are operating to get the company to an upscale status.