The City car that Lotus also unveiled with the new sports and supercar range is as important to the range as the rest of the models, in part because Lotus needs it to lower it fleet average CO2 emissions, and also because the company plans to offer a model similar in conception to Aston Martin's Cygnet, says Wolf Zimmerman, the new ex-AMG engineering chief of Lotus.
CO2 emission requirements are also why the company is pursuing hybrid solutions for the new range, the company investigating 'all options' in terms of technology.
Flywheel hybrids are one of the favoured possibilities, according to one insider. Lotus is looking for a partner to provide a platform for the city car, says Zimmerman, which is due in 2014.
All the new sports and supercars unveiled at Paris are based on new platforms, including the Esprit, despite this model having been under development for some years previously.
All use rivet-bonded aluminium spaceframe technology, while switch to aluminium from composites for the exterior panels is necessary to match the standards of finish achieved by Ferrari and Lamborghini, says Zimmerman.
Although most of the engines will be sourced from Toyota, the 2.0 pressure-charged four cylinder planned for the Elise will come from elsewhere.