Lotus Esprit Delayed; Will Get In-House V8, Shocking Price Tag

Lotus Esprit Delayed; Will Get In-House V8, Shocking Price Tag

The new Esprit will make it to market, but not as early as Lotus had hoped. Speaking at the launch of the new Evora S model in San Jose, Lotus Cars USA PR boss Kevin Smith confirmed that due to a decision by Lotus to produce its own engine for the car, it won’t make it to market until late 2013 or even early 2014.

“The cars shown at the Paris Auto Show with the Lexus IS-F V8 will get our own V8 engine,” said Smith. Those models include the Esprit, as well as the even more exotic Elite. Smith also confirmed that development of the in-house V8 engine was already underway, and indicated that other engines are a possibility.

Making additional remarks, Smith let slip details of just how much Lotus expects to charge for these new models, and it’s a huge increase from the $76,000 Evora S. Speaking generally, he said that, “cars in the $170,000 to $200,000 range should have their own engine in them.” No clarification was given about the projected price and while $170K is certainly a huge bump over the Porsche 911 Turbo, it would be significantly less than some of the Italian exotics the Esprit would be targeted at as well.

Details about the new V8 have not been released, but there’s a strong chance it will be available with a dual-clutch transmission. “We’d like to do a manual and a dual-clutch transmission for the Esprit and now that we’re dong our own engines there’s a better chance,” said Smith. Lotus has filed a patent for a 7-speed dual-clutch unit already, so look for that to arrive in the Esprit in just over two year’s time.

GALLERY: Lotus Esprit


  • Steve Sachs

    Its good to see Lotus has pumped up, however these photos look like that new Lamborghini thing. All creases and trapiziods. This can become dated very quickly. a car in the 200K range ought to have it`s own motor is very good argument for an in house power plant, but I would remind you of fine cars that lay down power from motors sourced elswhere. I won`t sanctamounously tick of a lot marques you allready know. Just putting it out there that US makers are building V-8s that post very impressive numbers. Apoligies if I sound too critical,but I expereneced an Esprit Turbo in the mid nineties. without whining adnausem, I would be very hesitant to break the piggy bank on an first generation new car that carries the name of a car that left me angry.

  • Colum Wood

    Interesting feedback Steve. As for the photos, they’re off the Esprit concept car that debuted at the Paris Auto Show. The car was designed by Donato Coco, who came to Lotus from Ferrari.

  • marco

    Does Lotus think that Pagani isn’t good because their engine is sourced from Benz AMG? ! What Lotus is saying makes no sense. “If” they do make their own engines and price their cars in the 200k stratosphere, the market still won’t buy…not when u can get a ferrari 458 for about the same.

    I would suggest Lotus to:

    1. Stick to a lower price targeting previous Lotus owners,

    2. Improve their interiors. (For the same price of an Evora, Porsche’s interior is way way better),

    3. Stop trying to be a Lambo wannabe and develop a true style of what Lotus has been thru the years.

    Lotus owners like me are very excited about new Lotus but, for the love of God, listen to us!!! Not those out there who wanna “cheap lambo knockoff”.

    Enough said.

  • ad nauscious

    This is laughable. You can’t just charge whatever you want for something.. Lotus has an extremely poor reputation for quality or service and in the last 8 months since have done little to extend the brand as an upscale marquee in the general public. No TV ads, no billboards… Only a couple of ads I’ve seen in car magazines. On the Lotus forums, most of the banter is about quality issues.

  • Tim Johnson

    I totally agree with the above comments! Lotus needs to up their quality before addressing engines or new models. Quality = high price. Not until they get the Evora up to the quality of Porsche/AMG should they even dream about competing with Ferrari/Lamborghini. They’ve got a long ways to go.

  • robert

    I agree what everyone is saying about quality etc. I owned an exige S and the quality definitley isnt there. I also test drove the new evora and i see that the cabin interior quality isnt up to par with a Porsche 997 ( i have one). However, the new lotus’s, are NEW! Just because there old stuff suck does not mean there new stuff wont! They haver amazing talent working there now and it really may be a whole new world with the new cars. Imagine there own engine, and amazing interior quality. I am sure they will blow us away with it. Sure 200k is alot but a ferrari 458 is still 50-100k more depending on options. Just think the new hyundais now are amazing compared to the generation before it. But the generation before it was not on par with Lexus but if you look at there new flagship, it definitley is!

  • Driver

    I had a Lotus Elise. I’m so glad I traded it. It was prone with quality issues. Even a former salesman told me Lotus stood for:

    Don’t get me wrong the car handled like no other, but lacks quality. Buy Porsche, Ferrai, Noble, Vette, but not Lotus.

  • LotusFan

    I personally don’t think it’s a good move for Lotus to build their own engine for the new Esprit. The only way I would aspire to buy one is if it had the Toyota drive line in it. The IS-F V8 is nice, but the LF-A V10 is even better. I think Lotus is missing the mark and is not understanding their customer base very well. Lotus already has their competitors beat in terms of driving dynamics. In order to get to the level of prestige that the others have; the interior, quality, and attention to detail need to be brought to the next level.

    I own an Elise and an Exige S so I know the quirks very well. I often joke that everything around the Toyota power train is prone to failure… Toyota has literally millions of dollars in the R&D, tooling, and design for manufacturing built into each one of their engines. Lotus hoping to match that level of quality and consistency on a shoe-string budget is just asking for trouble :(

  • joel weinberger

    i think that the new team at lotus have their heads buried in the proverbial sand my elise a/c was horrible the defroster worse and the non elec mirrors a nuisance but the fun to drive factor unmatched but at 170,000 in this economy ithink they will be chapter 11 in no time . just improve the elise go for better int and a better sealing top but not a ferrari or gold chaim lambo waana be

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