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While the upcoming Lotus Esprit has been announced using a supercharged version of the Lexus IS-F’s 5.0-liter V8, that may all change when the new high-powered exotic comes to market in 2012.
Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, in an interview with AutoCar, commented that the storied British sports car maker is now examining the possibility of building its own V8. “The engine is the heart of a sports car; we should do our own product,” said Bahar.
One of the main factors in pushing Lotus towards this decision was customer feedback. “In the mind of sports-car enthusiasts, Toyota power might not be good enough,” he admitted.
Still, Lotus has yet to move ahead with a costly engine development program and won’t make any decision on if it will do so until January with Bahar commenting that the decision would be purely financial.
Recently Lotus announced it would run cars powered by its own engines in the 2012 Indy Car season, despite the fact that it currently does not build any of its own engines.
GALLERY: Lotus Esprit
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.
Lotus will get back into the game of building true exotics when it launches the all new Esprit in 2012. Unveiled at the Paris Auto Show, the Esprit features a body made entirely of carbon fiber and boasts a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 than makes an impressive 542-hp. In R-Spec trim that number will be pumped up to 612-hp. A hybrid version will also be offered in a bid to produce high levels of performance but with reduced emissions.
After the Esprit debuts, Lotus will follow up with the Elan, targeted at the Porsche 911. Then we’re supposed to see the Elite, a convertible grand-touring exotic. In 2014 the new Elise will debut with 300-hp, followed by the Eterne 4-door.
Lotus is keeping the hype around its new models alive and has just released a selection of new CGI renderings of the Esprit, showing the interior in more detail then ever before.
Check out the gallery below: