Firm is looking into developing its own V8 engine for its new Esprit and a V6 for the Elan

Lotus is planning to power the new Esprit with its own design for a V8 engine, company boss Dany Bahar has revealed to Autocar.

The company is currently doing a feasibility on the possibility of an all-new, Hethel-engineered V8 which would appear in the 2012 Esprit and a V6 for the new Elan and other models he admitted.

“We have done three engines for other manufacturers; why not do it ourselves?” he said. “The engine is the heart of a sports car; we should do our own product.”

See pics of all five of the new Lotus sports car concepts

Bahar admitted that despite the high investment costs of developing two new engines it could end up paying dividends with future cost savings brought about through commonality of parts.

Lotus engineering chief Wolf Zimmerman also revealed that the planned three-strong family of mid-engined Lotuses that will start with the Esprit will share a common platform, brakes, suspension and electrical systems.

Read the full story on all of Lotus's new sports cars

Bahar also revealed that customer reaction to the new Esprit being powered by a Toyota V8, as was originally planned, was behind the decision.

“In the mind of sports-car enthusiasts, Toyota power might not be good enough,” he said.

But the final decision on whether Lotus will green light the cash for engine development will be taken at the end of January. “The decision then will be purely financial,” said Bahar.

Chas Hallett

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Join the debate


15 December 2010

Now that's great news!

15 December 2010

Does anyone know the which three engines are referred to in the text?

15 December 2010

Oh Lotus, thy name is TVR...

15 December 2010

Nope - this is absolutely essential if they are to have a 10% chance of achieving the "British Ferrari" tag they are obviously after. Otherwise they are just another Noble rather than TVR. Who is going to buy a "thoroughbred" sports car with the engine of a Toyota taxi blueprinted and with a big turbo stuck on the side? About as many people as are buying the Ford/Volvo/Whatever powered Noble. They can win as many head to head tests as they like and Stutters can go on about how he "would" buy one - see also Lotus Europa - but no-one cares. Customers in this market place want brand value more than performance and that doesn't include mass-market related engines. What do you think the chances are that Ferrari are going to say that their new model is sharing an engine with a Lancia saloon anytime soon?

15 December 2010

For sure. A great brand has to make its own engines.

15 December 2010

Their last self-built V8 had the longevity of a bunch of supermarket grapes didn't it?

15 December 2010

[quote david RS]For sure. A great brand has to make its own engines.[/quote] Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati? Aren't they essentially using BMW, VW and Ferrari engines respectively. A Lotus Engine is a great idea if they can make it reliable. If not it'll break the company.



15 December 2010

[quote Los Angeles]Oh Lotus, thy name is TVR...[/quote]

That’s not a fair comparison; Lotus possesses engineering, technical and design bona fides TVR could only dream of. My biggest gripe with Lotus was that they have the where with all to build their own engines but they didn’t. Sure it’s a huge risk, but at least it isn’t cowardly maintaining the status quo which has led them nowhere and most likely into further decline. I wish them every success and applaud their efforts.

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
—Robert Allen Zimmerman

15 December 2010

Being able to modify another company's engines with success and building your own engines from scratch are two very different kettles of fish, and I will admit this is the first part of Lotus' plans which really concerns me. TVR demonstrated that designing and building your own engines can be very resource-draining without much immediate reward - Lamborghini co-design engines with Audi or upgrade existing units, Pagani use AMG-tuned Mercedes engines and even the current Aston Martin and Jaguar engines were designed with the resources of Ford. Lotus attempting to replicate such projects with funding from Proton and any other as-yet-unknown backers is a dangerous approach to take, particularly as Toyota has a wide range of available engine units which could be modified accordingly, as well as access to hybrid technology which is only going to become more relevant in the future.

I hope for Lotus' sake I'm wrong, but as with david RS above this really could be a make-or-break moment for the company.

15 December 2010

[quote jackjflash]A huge risk, [/quote]My very point. A raft of new models moving from sports cars to saloons, steep escalation in sale prices, greatly increased output capacity, new engines and sure to need derivatives, superior attention to build quality, ambitions to be on par with Porsche ...

It''s all a long way from Chapman, closer to the late TVR.

How does Morgan manage to survive without aiming for the sky?


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