WITH a £1.7 million hypercar in the wings, Lotus is a British brand out to prove it can mix it with the best.
Now part of the Chinese-owned Geely empire, the Norfolk-based sports car maker is currently in the final shakedown phase of its new Evija - an all-electric model with four motors that is designed to be the most powerful car in the world.
With almost 2,000 horsepower on tap it has mind-blowing performance of 0 to 60 in less than three seconds and a top speed in excess of 200mph.
That power output is almost five times as much as its current flagship - the Evora, a car with a much more conventional powertrain but one with almost as much performance.
And in the supercar world the Evora is also much more affordable, starting at £85,900 in its new GT 410 Sport guise before adding a few extras.
Get behind the wheel of the latest Evora and there is no doubt this is almost as pure a driving experience as you can get.
Not only does the car look the part it delivers in every aspect. Proper is the only word to describe it.
It's powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine tuned to deliver 410hp and that gives the Evora a 0 to 60 sprint time of four seconds and a maximum of 190mph.
A power to weight ratio of 326 horsepower per tonne is a hint of what the Evora is capable of and from a driver's perspective it doesn't disappoint.
Unlike other models in the current Lotus stable, there's a touch of refinement to the cockpit. Suede-like trim dresses the cabin, the gearstick has a leather gaiter and a seven-inch touch screen dominates the dash.
It's a league away from the painted metal and exposed gear shift found in the likes of the Elise and adds a touch of completeness to the Evora.
But it's on the road where the car comes alive and impresses only as a thoroughbred sports car can.
A wonderful note from the engine fills the cockpit under acceleration and the action of the gear box is heavy yet so precise.
So is the steering feel, enabling the Evora to conquer bends with aplomb.
It is a joy to drive and feels just right whatever is demanded. There are no loose ends or ‘fluffy' moments even as the car nears its road limits.
The engine is sourced from Toyota and while Lotus claims official fuel economy of 26.7mpg with emissions of 239g/km we managed to see a relatively healthy 29.2 to the gallon shown on the trip display after a good run through the Cotswolds.
Lotus has been clever blending the Evora for a heady mix of road use in a car that would feel equally at home on the track and the likes of Bilstein dampers, Eibach springs, forged aluminium wishbones and AP Racing brakes are all motorsport grade.
If there is a watchword it's with the extras. Adding the likes of special paint, machined forged wheels and a titanium exhaust can see the price rise by almost Â£10,000 - and that's just the tip of an iceberg should you want to go the whole hog.
Nevertheless, the Evora is hand-built and finished in a way that only a great British sports car can be.
What is on the way with the Evija is going to be showcase of Lotus excellence - and only 130 examples will be made - but the Evora is very much a demonstration of the company's prowess of today.
Among two-seat super tourers it has all that is needed to impress - and that's not just from the cockpit but for bystanders too should they witness one on the road.