From 1974-82, Lotus produced the larger 4 seat Type 75 and Type 83 Elite. With this design Lotus sought to position itself upmarket and move away from its kit-car past. It replaced the ageing Elan +2
The Elite was configured as a small shooting brake with a rear hatch opening into the luggage compartment. It was front engine with RWD. The Elite's fibreglass bodyshell was mounted on a steel backbone chassis evolved from the Elan and Europa. The Elite was Lotus' first car to use the 907 aluminiumblock 4valve DOHC, four-cylinder 2.0 engine that developed 155 hp. The 907 engine had previously been used in Jensen-Healeys. The 907 engine ultimately became the foundation for the 2.0 L and 2.2 L Esprit power-plants.
At the time of launch the Elite was the world's most expensive four-cylinder car. Elites were available in 4 main specification variations, 501, 502, 503, and lastly 504.
The Lotus Eclat (Type 76 and Type 84) is a front engine rear drive coupe built from 1975 to 1982. It was based on the Elite but had a fastback body style which offered more practicality with storage in the boot albeit with less headroom above the rear seats. The car was initially to be called the "Elite Coupe". The lower half of the fibreglass bodywork was actually identical to that of the Elite.