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Lotus CEO Dany Bahar presents Akio Toyoda with a Lotus Elise R – Click for high-res gallery

The last Toyota 2ZZ-GE VVTLi four cylinder engine has been built, and Lotus got it. Lotus CEO Dany Bahar and Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda came together at the British Embassy in Tokyo for a celebration where Toyota was presented with an Elise R carrying the engine by Bahar. The shindig marks a new chapter in the two companies' partnership, one that will allow Lotus to create powertrains that are more exclusively its own in future cars with the continued cooperation of Toyota.

Designed for Toyota by Yamaha, the 2ZZ-GE engine owed a lot to motorcycle engine practice, and the wide-angled valves and variable valve timing and lift system enabled the high-revving engine to develop 100 horsepower per liter, and even more when supercharged. Power levels floated between 160-180 hp naturally aspirated and as much as 250 when supercharged and intercooled.

The question now is what engine Lotus and Toyota will cook up to take the place of the 2ZZ-GE, now that its veteran power unit has been retired. We should find out more on that front at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Follow the jump to see the press release.

[Source: Lotus]

Show full PR text
Lotus to take relationship with Toyota to new level

Gift of Special Elise Marks Lotus-Toyota Ties

Lotus commemorated their successful relationship with Toyota today (17th September) at a celebration at the British Embassy in Tokyo where Lotus CEO Dany Bahar presented Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda with a specially equipped Lotus Elise powered by the last ever Toyota 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine. The occasion marked the end of an era and the start of an even stronger relationship between the two companies.

As part of the celebration, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: "The presentation of Toyota's last 2ZZ engine in the Elise is a symbolic gesture of our continued respect and deep appreciation for our partner not only acknowledging our past but also looking forward to our future together."

Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda responded: "A Toyota engine in a Lotus car creates a completely unique drive feeling – a special blend featuring the best of Lotus and Toyota that we hope many car lovers continue to experience and enjoy."

Based on the successful cooperation with Toyota so far, Lotus has decided to take the relationship with Toyota to a new level that will enable Lotus to create tailor-made powertrain solutions for future Lotus cars.

For more details on exactly how Lotus will be partnering with Toyota in the future, simply look to the Lotus global unveiling at the Paris Motor Show on September 30th where Lotus will showcase their new line up to the world's media. The eagerly anticipated event marks the dawn of a new era for Lotus and will highlight exactly why both companies are so proud of their relationship.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The caldina (japan's version of the matrix) had the 4th generation 3s-gte which made 260 hp and is also awd, way more powerful than the 2zz. But the days of iron block 4 bangers is over.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was so sure that engine was going to be the one to bring the high-revving super VVT engines from Japan to the US and it never really panned out. Toyota made a few and then threw it away. I never understood what went wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've seen quite a few of those engines in used Celica GTS/Corolla XRS that had sloppy crossover on the lift profiles after only 80K-100K. However, I've seen many B18 and K20 Honda revers that seem to be just as happy as new, even with high miles.

        I'm not saying that the 2ZZ isn't a good motor and that there aren't good high mileage examples out there, but I haven't bumped into that many.

        I'm thinking that Lotus is going to another brand for their latest powertrain.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I still have a 2000 GT-S with 150k miles. Thing still runs beautifully, and I absolutely love the chassis and handling characteristics.

        Only gripe about it is my head hits the ceiling when I have a helmet on, nothing a little recline in the seats can't fix though =)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'll always remember the 2ZZ as the only motor out there (in your typical US production car) that was as peaky as anything that came out of Honda, something I never thought would happen. I mean, yeah the point of these motors is to rev the snot out of them with a huge grin on your face, but 133 lb-ft @ 6800 is seriously lacking. The idea of peak torque occurring at almost 7000 rpm (where most cars' redline is) is hilarious. Still, it was a great motor from Toyota and I doubt they'll ever make another one like it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know the engine came here. That's why I said they made a few and then threw it out.

        There weren't all that many Celica GT-S's made and in the other cars (Matrix, Vibe) it wasn't offered with the desirable AWD layout. It was available in the Corolla for 2 years (2005-2006, after the Celica was killed). Meanwhile the Celica was cancelled outright and the 2ZZ wasn't offered at all in the Scion tC replacement. They'd sell you an add-on blower for the car but wouldn't offer the 190HP engine from the get go.

        It just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe people didn't want these engines?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ jmfanslau: you know you're talking about the time when Honda made both the NSX AND the S2000, which I think are both much better chassis than the Celica.
        • 4 Years Ago
        We did get this engine. It came in the Celica GT-S.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I'm thinking that Lotus is going to another brand for their latest powertrain."

        Seems a bit far fetched, but if your right, I'd like to see them go to Ford Ecoboost.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm literally saving up to buy an '11 Elise SC this coming Spring. What will Lotus be putting in the top-of-the-line Elise range now? That 1.6 just won't do it for me, but I'm really hoping something with much more torque. 0-60 just above 4 seconds in a new Elise sounds perfect for me...

      or should I get the local Porsche dealership to try to get a Boxster Spyder?
      • 4 Years Ago
      also came in the Matrix XRS, Pontiac Vibe GT
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, Honda isn't doing anything with the S2000 motor these days... 2.2L, 240HP, 163 lb-ft, 8000 RPM

        • 4 Years Ago
        S2000...great car. Great engine. Great design. Great platform. TERRIBLE daily driver.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice gesture.
      • 4 Years Ago
      damn! this is in my xrs matrix..3 clutches in..now me and the mad scientist are going to have rip apart the block..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are they stopping production of the Elise while they "cook up" a new engine?
      • 4 Years Ago
      If only I stuff one of those in my MR-S...sniff.
      • 4 Years Ago
      toyota no longer has a lot of sports engines. perhaps they will replace it with the ft-86 motor from subaru, with subaru block and toyota heads?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I second the D4-S (FT86 engine) choice. Direct injection is where engines are headed to meet performance and fuel economy targets (look at what Mini can achieve with the Cooper S!) and this supposedly high-revving yet fuel sipping boxer might be the way to go. Plus the Elise platform, while still fantastic, is pretty old and I'm sure Lotus engineers have something new up their sleeve to match the next engine choice.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Though I agree it is unlikely to happen, Mitch, you are totally unimaginative and have not an engineering bone in your body. Ask Porsche and Ferrari how they do it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ft-96 is FR, which means a longitudinally mounted engine, compared to the Lotus which uses a horizontal mount. Also, the ft is will use a boxer instead of a inline motor, so I don't see how they'd make that work.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sad to see it go. In my opinion, this motor still holds it's own today. It sure beats the hell out of a lot of modern 1.8L motors.

      RIP high revving import fun..
        • 4 Years Ago
        And oh the fun it is! I can't help but wring it all the way out on my commute sometimes...

        They def should have lowered the starting point for the VVT-Li...

        nopowernopowernopowernopowerPOWERRRRR*shift*nopowernopower...rinse, repeat, lol =P
      • 4 Years Ago
      Give Lotus a higher revving version of Chevrolet's LNF engine.
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