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New £75,000 Elan is "the heart of the range" of Lotus's new sports cars and GTs

Lotus is bringing back the Elan name for this new mid-engined two-seater due for launch in 2013.

The 1295kg Lotus Elan will be given a price tag of £75,000 and will be powered by a 4.0-litre version of the Evora’s transverse V6. A 2+2 seating configuration will be optional.

Insiders call this “the heart of the range” of Lotus’s new sports cars and GTs; expect it to fight the Porsche 911 and Audi R8.

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Shapes in its rear section allude to “one of the most iconic grand prix cars ever designed, the Lotus 79”.

Power will be between 400 and 470bhp, and the 0-62mph time will be 3.5 to 3.9 secs depending whether you’re at the wheel of an R-model or not.

Either model will emit less than 200g/km of CO2, an impressive figure since the smaller-engined, less powerful Evora (already admirably clean) emits 199 g/km.

“Our plan is to change Lotus from its present position as a niche sports-car company to a builder of a range of premium sports cars”, says CEO Dany Bahar, architect of the company’s new five-year plan.

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