The Lotus City Car Concept, as shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2010.

The world laughed when Aston Martin announced its Cygnet city car - essentially a Toyota IQ with fancy Aston Martin trimmings - and the reaction was little different when Lotus showed its city car concept at the Paris Motor Show in 2010.

Granted, at least the Lotus has a sporty and distinctive design that fits the new Lotus design mould but the fact that it would share a platform with a new Proton city car did little to inspire confidence in the little Lotus.

But now we know more. In an interview with UK magazine Auto Express, Lotus chief Dany Bahar has made some bold claims about the upcoming mini car.

He said that rather than trying to compete directly with the small premium German hatchbacks, Lotus will offer something different - something that will either be a full electric vehicle or range extended electric vehicle.

More enticing, however, is that it will offer performance that no other small car can match, according to Bahar.

The little Lotus is expected to reach global markets in 2015, with a UK price tag that equates to R375 000. Expensive yes, but that would still undercut the Aston Martin Cygnet by over R25 000.