Sneak peek: The first look at two new Lotus sports cars to be unveiled next week

Members of the project team at Lotus with two of the new Lotus sports cars to be unveiled at the Gen

Members of the project team at Lotus with two of the new Lotus sports cars to be unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow next week. Richard Harris (project manager), Karl Staff (vehicle technician), Phil Hampton (chassis engineer), Patrick Collett (design engineering, interiors), Bert Hibberd (build engineer), Paul Sills (materials engineer), Aaron Nash (project co-ordinator), Andy Tokley (programme manager), Jamie Cave (vehicle technician), Stephen Dowling (senior engineer, interiors). Picture: SUPPLIED. - Credit: Archant

This picture offers the first glimpse of the two new Lotus models the Norfolk car-maker will unveil next week. And standing proudly by are members of the project team which has developed the two sportscars.

Lotus will be displaying four cars at Europe's most important car show, which starts next Tuesday.

They include the Nurburgring lap-shattering Lotus 3-Eleven and the fastest Lotus Elise, the Cup 250.

Alongside them at the Geneva Palexpo next week will be the two new models seen opposite.

The exhibition will be a key event for the Hethel-based brand, which is undergoing a turnaround under the leadership of chief executive Jean-Marc Gales.

In 2014, the company announced it was to cut 325 jobs globally, resulting in the loss of 252 jobs in Norfolk, but launched a 150-job recruitment drive at its manufacturing arm last year in the run-up to the release of the Evora 400 sports car.

Just last month the brand announced its best sales figures since 2010, with 375 Lotus cars registered in the UK in 2015, up by 140 compared to 2014's tally of 235.

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Lotus has also been developing plans for a mass-market but lightweight sports utility vehicle (SUV), designed at its Norfolk headquarters and built in China.

The aim is to bring more customers back to the Lotus brand, with the income generated reinvested in the sportscar side of the business.

Last week the Lotus Elise Cup 250 was unveiled, becoming the fastest road-going Lotus Elise ever.

Weighing in at 931kg, the 243 brake horsepower 1.8-litre car laps the company's Hethel test track in one minute 34 seconds – four seconds quicker than the Elise Cup 220 and the fastest recorded lap time for a production Elise.

Do you have a motoring story? Email andy.russell@archant.co.uk

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