Eurostar has announced plans to launch a new fleet of trains, and to expand into new destinations.
The rail company will buy 10 new trains, built by German manufacturer Siemens, with interiors designed by the Italian company Pininfarina.
Owned and operated by France's state-owned train operator SNCF, Belgium's rail company SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways), Eurostar is the first affiliate of SNCF to order non-French high-speed trains.
Eurostar's existing trains are based on the French TGV trains, built by Alstom, and can travel up to 300kph (186mph).
The new train will be able to travel up to 320 kph (200mph), hence its name Eurostar e320, and will be able to carry 900 passengers, up from 750 on the existing trains.
Eurostar hopes to use the trains to travel further afield, with Amsterdam rumoured to be the first choice for a new destination - the journey would take less than four hours with the new fleet.
The news comes as German high speed rail operator Deutsche Bahn is in the early stages of planning to launch services from London - if it comes to fruition, it will be the first time Eurostar has any competition.
Unlike the current fleet, the e320 will be interoperable on more European rail systems, such as Germany and the Netherlands, so will be able to travel further afield than the existing trains, which can only go to France and Belgium.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: "Over the last 16 years Eurostar has revolutionised travel between the London, Paris and Brussels but our sights are now set on expanding our business across Europe."
The higher maximum speed of the e320 means the journey time between Paris and London will be reduced to just over two hours (the current journey time takes from 2h 15m).
The new fleet will also have onboard wi-fi and interactive entertainment, including video-on-demand, music and news feeds.
Eurostar will invest £700 million in its fleet, including a major refurbishment of its existing fleet of 27 trains.
Last year Eurostar announced that its current fleet would also get a designer makeover from Pininfarina, with the first refurbished trains due to enter service in 2012.
The Italian design company will also design the external livery of both the e320 and the upgraded existing fleet.
Petrovic said the investment marks Eurostar's ambitions for growth.
"The combination of our new state-of-the-art trains and our refurbished fleet will assure our position as the leading rail operator between the UK and the continent," he said.