The Elite was Lotus’ first attempt at a mainstream four-seat road car, succeeding the Elan Plus 2, but using much of that car’s underpinnings. Even though it was a large car by Lotus standards, almost a foot longer and wider than anything offered before, it was still only the size and weight of a Chevy Vega! Lotus touted the controversial design to be “The Shape of Things to Come.” A fastback version, the Eclat, shared the Elite’s architecture, perhaps a bit more successfully. Announced in May 1974, the fiberglass-bodied Elite was, at the time of introduction, the world’s most expensive four-cylinder car at £6496. The styling was polarizing – one loved it or hated it – and it was underpowered – original designs called for a 4-liter V8 – but the handling and roadholding was every bit Lotus. The planned V8, essentially two Lotus Type 907 four-cylinder engines on a common crank, would have transformed the Elite into what it really wanted to be – a supercar.