When we last saw the Lotus Esprit in 2004, it was equipped with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V8 rated at about 350 hp. Offering much more motivation than its early turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant, the Esprit V8 was quick -- pedal to the floor, the two-seat coupe could punch through 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Impressive as it was just a few years ago, there are more than a handful of cars (at half the price) that can shame the Lotus back across the Pond today.
To keep the upcoming 2011 Lotus Esprit at the front of the pack, it is rumored to be fitted with the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 found under the hood of the recently released BMW X6. The powerplant is rated at 400 horsepower with only light boost under the German's hood. Under the fiberglass cover of the future British Esprit, it will most likely be tuned to deliver nearly 500 horsepower. It will need every bit of power it can get, as the new Lotus will be competing with the Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari F430, and the new Nissan GT-R.