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.