AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Lotus fans can rejoice as the automaker has now officially confirmed that the Esprit project will go ahead. This halo car will be a part the company’s upcoming seven year plan, that will be laid out by new CEO Dany Bahar in the upcoming weeks.
The car isn’t actually likely to get the Esprit name, but that is what Lotus is referring to it internally as. Previous reports have suggested that it would use an elongated version of the Evora’s Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) platform, with the potential to use either the 5.0-liter V8 in the Lexus IS-F or the 4.8-liter V8 in the LFA. The use of a Toyota motor only makes sense, as the Elise and Exige are powered by a Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, while the Evora uses a 3.5-liter V6 from the Toyota Camry. An inside source at Lotus was quoted by the U.K.’s AutoCar statign that the new Esprit would be, “the ultimate exression of the brand.”
With all the uncertainties, one this is for sure: if we know Lotus, the car will be extremely light weight and an absolute hoot to drive.
The upcoming Lotus Esprit may be powered by a 500hp Lexus V10 according to a report in the U.K.’s EVO magazine. Lotus has a long time partnership with Lexus parent company Toyota, using its Celica-sourced 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine for the Elise and Exige, as well as its the Camry-sourced 3.5-liter V6 for the Evora. According to EVO this relationship extends not just to the Toyota powertrain department but also to the Lexus division – and Lexus just so happens to be readying its LF-A exotic with a 500 horse V10. There is also the possibility that the IS-F’s 417hp 5.0-liter V8 could be an option, as well as an entry-level 300hp direct-injection V6 motor.
The new Evora platform, which is to be the basis for the Esprit’s chassis, is capable of holding engines in either a transverse or longitudinal layout – giving more credence to the possibility that several different engines could be made available to buyers.
Lotus doesn’t plan to bring the Esprit to market until 2012, but it is dedicated to delivering a true exotic capable of taking on the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the world.
There is also a strong possibility that Lotus could offer the Esprit with an electric powertrain.
The design sketch, above, gives a hint at what the upcoming Lotus Esprit may look like.