Lotus' relationship with Toyota could extend beyond supplying drivetrains for the Elise, Exige and Evora, with three new engines sourced from Lexus rumored to be fitted to the 2012 Lotus Esprit. According to EVO, a choice of three Esprits will be available for any (thick) wallet, including a 300 hp version packing Toyota's direct injected V6, a 417 hp model that would make use of the Lexus IS F's 5.0-liter V8 and, at the top of the range, a V10-powered Esprit packing the yet-to-be-released Lexus LF-A's 500+ hp engine.

Additionally, the alliance with Toyota could make good on Lotus' recent push for eco-friendly motoring. The Hethel-based automaker has repeated said that lightweight platforms and fuel-efficient drivetrains are a top priority, going so far as renaming its powertrain engineering arm the "propulsion systems" division. As such, an "Eco Esprit" could be available with a reworked version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The recently launched Evora will be the basis for the next Esprit, and considering the quick turnaround – a mere 27 months – for the Evora to go from concept to production, Lotus has the ability to bring the new Esprit to market quicker than ever. If the Evora's a hit, then we should be seeing the Esprit on roads in Europe, the UK and the US by 2012, with a price somewhere north of £100,000 for the V10-powered variant.

[Source: EVO]