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Lotus CEO Dany Bahar noted that the current Elise has been on sale for nearly 15 years, and we couldn’t but help wonder if it really needs replacing. In our minds, the Elise could go for another 15 and still look timeless, like the Citroen DS or Acura NSX.
According to Bahar, the current Elise must evolve into something more in line with Lotus’ anticipated customer base. The bare-bones roadster thrills are out, and the new geometric styling regime is in, along with a 320 horsepower 2.0L Toyota four-cylinder engine. A 6 speed manual and a (gasp) paddle shift automatic are available, with the car tipping the scales at 2,409 pounds – light by today’s standards, but nearly 500 lbs more than a current Elise, for the hefty price of $55,000.
If this car will help save Lotus, then so be it, but deep in our hearts, the one true Elise will always be the one that made you trip and fall whenever you tried to enter or exit the car.
Gallery: Lotus Elise Concept
Of all the eye-candy at this year’s Paris Motor Show, the newly unveiled Citroen Lacoste might be considered the nutritional equivalent of a jelly bean, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to indulge in the empty calories on display here.
The more fashion savvy readers out there will recognize the Lacoste brand as the famed sportswear and leisure fashion clothier (you know, the fuzzy little alligator guys), who have teamed up with Citroean to design and develop a concept car that can be best described with half made-up buzzwords like “wacky”, “beachy”, “Frenchy”, “sporty”, ”ballooner” and so on.
Outside it looks like a combination moon rover, airport caddy, and antenna car. Doors? Don’t got ‘em, so ya gotta jump in through the side or go through the roof – as long as it’s deflated, of course, because the inflatable roof is meant to puff up if you blow hard enough. Water wings on a car make sense if you try not to think about it. We told you it was “Frenchy”.
Inside, the fashion connection is readily apparent, as the Citroen Lacoste features plenty of tucked away storage spaces, including the retractable rear bench which easily slides into the trunk, tailor-made to hide your clubs, surfboard, croquet set, charcoal grill, pack tent and a trash bag or two of golf shirts and Bermuda shorts.
Under the hood, lies a simple 3-cylinder gas engine, so you can, with a little effort, zip around from beach to parking lot and back again without too much of a huff. Good times, yes? Sadly, there is no plans for this set of hot wheels to go into production, so all you can do is stare at the lil’ guy and wonder what role the Citroen Lacoste would have played in the best summer you never had.