Due in mid-2015, the new Elise gains around 450 pounds over the present featherweight, and many thousand dollars in cost. It uses a 2.0-liter Toyota-derived four, with either supercharging or turbo-"we still have time to decide," the engineers say-for 300 (base) and 350HP (R). Porsche engineers have hinted they will do a four-cylinder Boxster next time around, so having a four-banger shouldn't handicap Lotus. And the mild hybrid system will be available in the new Elise, for class-leading economy as well as performance. The new Elise will come as a convertible and a hardtop (as will the Esprit and the Elan), aimed square at the Boxster and Cayman. But Lotus promises there will also be lightweight, bare-butt variants of the Elise to keep the track-biased hardcore buyers in the fold.