Ever since the Lotus Esprit V8 went out of production in 2004, Lotus has been exclusively using Toyota engines for its cars. While these motors have provided power and reliability, many customers of the brand feel that the company should have its own engines. After all, can you imagine a Ferrari being powered by anything other than their own engines?
Dany Bahar, CEO of Lotus agrees and wishes to develop engines bespoke for its automobiles. Since Lotus is delaying the Elan, the funds earmarked for that car can now be used towards developing new engines.
Bahar said, “This is a big [financial] hit because it’s expensive to do an engine. But because the Elan is not happening now we have got capital expenditure headroom for engine development.”
The work on these new engines has already began, and the first prototype V8 should breathe into life by this July. Power output is expected to be around the 570-hp mark, to compete with the likes of Ferrari.
The push for these new engines came from an internet survey Lotus conducted in which 10,000 people took part. The majority favored Lotus to put their efforts behind their own engines.
The plan is to design a modular V8 which can spawn a four-cylinder engine also for use in the next Elise. However, if that doesn’t work out, they will continue using Toyota engines.
Expect the first of the new breed of Lotus road cars to hit the streets by 2013.