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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]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I doubt Lotus is even thinking about the Esprit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm confused. Wasn't the point of Lotus to design cars that perform really well through lighter weight instead of higher displacement/cylinder engines?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well for one thing the IS F has actually been out since October 2007 in Japan, and came out 2008 in the US...so you're comparing an almost 2 year old engine to one that just showed up. On top of which, the IS-F is actually the quicker car anyway even with it's 30 extra pounds and loads of power-sucking luxury crap shoveled in...so what's your point?

      Apparently you took a lot of liberty rounding the quarter mile, since the IS-F regularly runs 12's while the Camary SS runs high 13's. So you basically rounded up all the 12.7's the IS-F has run and rounded down the SS's numbers. Amazing.

      And of course, instead of actually looking at the entire power band, you post manufacturer rated peak horsepower, which means nothing since you don't just drive at that peak RPM, every manufacturer rates their power differently, and depending on your drive train the power getting to the wheels is different too.

      Let's look at drag times:
      http://www.dragtimes.com/Lexus-IS-F-Timeslip-13866.html
      Only one of the cars on that list even ran a 13, almost every IS-F ran a 12 second quarter. But somehow this is a 13 second car to you?

      The BEST 1/4 mile anybody's run in the SS is the rated 13.0 seconds run by motor trend. Hennessey ran a 13.6 in their SS, and other people seem to run in between there, some 13.3's, etc.

      You can't just round consistent 12.7 runs and mid 13 runs both to 13 seconds. Of course now you'll point out the transmission, but so what? An efficient transmission with lower parasitic drag and more gears to keep the engine putting out close to peak power throughout a well-tuned and broad powerband is worlds better than some peaky engine with a slightly higher peak horsepower number, that came out 2 years after the other engine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "bring the new Esprit to market quicker than ever..."

      what? the last one was designed in '72, and the 'next' one has been in the works for at least 10 years. i think they need to stop using an Etch-a-Sketch and move on to papyrus. at least.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lotus is finaly getting into building real cars, with real engines again, bring on the v8 and v10 engines. Never did like the sound the four cylinder cars made,even though the ran great.
      • 6 Years Ago
      they SO have to move that front axle forward!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It always bugs me that Lotus uses Toyota as its engine supplier. All of their cars drive beautifully with the exception of the motor. In the Elise and Exige, it doesn't really matter because they are so light. However, the heavier Evora shows just how gutless and uninspiring pretty much all Toyota motors are. -- All of the Evora's reviews go something like "drives perfectly, and then there is the motor, but we'll ignore that because this is a Lotus."

      An Evora with a 300 hp LLT V6 (from the CTS) would knock socks off. An Exige with a 260 hp LNF Turbo I4 (from the Cobalt SS) would be stellar. An LSx-driven lotus-built supercar would be out of this world.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Chase -- I see your point; the LS engines are great, and probably more fuel efficient than many of the supposedly superior OHC engines, which is actually something that Lotus seems to care about these days. But what are all these Evora reviews that knock the motor? I've read at least 3 or 4 reviews, and the only criticism of the engine is its sound, but they also point out that the engine note may be different in US spec cars, which has different noise regulations. In any event, Lotus has clear and strong ties to Toyota, not so much to GM, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Using an LS engine in this context would be foolish for a company as small as Lotus, which can't afford to re-engineer its cars if it loses access to the engine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "In any event, Lotus has clear and strong ties to Toyota, not so much to GM"

        uh... GM *owned* Lotus for nearly a decade. in addition... Lotus designed the GM Ecotec engine in part. Lotus even built the entire VX220/Speedster for sale as a GM product.

        compared to :

        they have used Toyota engines since 2005 originally due to not being able to federalize the K-series for use in the US. the dissolution of Rover i'm sure played some part in migrating engine providers as well.

        if i was ranking those two options for which is more "clear and strong" ... i am not entirely sure i'd pick Toyota.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think rumor is BS. If Lotus wants to save weight, why would they want to put a big V10 in the Esprit? I think it is more likely that it will have a blown V6 or V8. A hybrid drivetrain is also heavy and probably not gonna happen for a while.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That looks much more like one car swallowing another car than even the R8 does, with it's blade visuals.

      Hardly as iconic as the original Guigiaro, or the Peter Stevens re-fresh of the original Esprit.

      A high-tech longitudinal V8 could be cool, in a car that has lotus' focus on weight reduction techniques.

      V10 will probably be better, and I know they are powerful, but somehow an engine not devisible by 3 or 4 seems odd to me. V8s are nice, V12s are insane... V10s seem like the limbo between them.
      JDM Life
      • 6 Years Ago
      Toyota & Lexus engines awsome.

      Strong, powerful & reliable
        • 6 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        You forgot to mention dull and quiet, in a bad way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Most folks somehow forget the fact that Lotus cars (bar the Europa) are powered by Toyota engines so it makes sense to use another Toyota engines in future projects.

      As to why not an OHV engine from a US manufacturer. Using that would be a step back and contradictory to Lotus heritage which was always based on pushing forward not on pushing rods ...

      IS F is family sedan for 4 adults that can easily be used on every day basis. You can drive IS - F and average 30 mpg (8 l/100 km) in mixed traffic. That's why it's better than an Camaro SS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thank you Chase... I don't know on what planet 416hp sedans get 30mpg in mixed traffic, but it's sure not Earth.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I call ultra BS on that. Every long term test pegs the IS-F as averaging around 17 mpg.

        There are alternatives that do the supersedan thing WAY better than the IS-F. Like, for instance, the CTS-V, which wipes the floor with the IS-F. -- Maybe the M3 is a more fair comparison, and it still decimates the IS-F.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll believe it when I see it
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