Lotus has revealed details of the V8 engine it plans to launch with the new Esprit, due to go on sale in coupe and cabriolet form in 2013.
Rejecting the Lexus V8 used in the IS-F that had been originally mooted, the engine is a creation of Lotus Engineering, sister company to Lotus Cars within the Proton-owned Lotus Group. Nothing wrong with the Lexus motor, other than in research customers voiced a concern about a Toyota sourced engine in a car likely to cost around the £100,000 mark. If Lotus are to compete with Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren it needs its own engine, the market said.
So Lotus has stayed in-house and develped the unit themselves using the significant expertise of its engineering, which is usually focused on often secret projects for other car manufacturers.
The 4.8 litre V8 has a flat-plane crank and dry sump and will weigh just 170kg, some 80kg lighter than the Lexus engine. Two states of tune are likely — 570bhp in the standard car, with 620bhp on offer in higher-specced R versions of the Esprit, which will rev to 9,000rpm. The engine will also be used in the 2+2 Elite and four-door Eterne, should the two models shown at the Paris Show erlier this ever become production realities. It will be built in Hethel, Norfolk.
For now though, of the future models Lotus revealed in Paris only the Esprit is under development, with running prototypes expected in November. Lotus has also revealed that the V8 is designed to be modular, however, suggesting that the V8 could be halved to create a four cylinder 2.4 litre engine to power the Elise replacement, also due in 2013.