Lotus is working overtime getting the next Esprit ready for its late-2013 production target, and that means development of everything from an in-house V8 to a slew of new chassis components are under way.

Lotus officials confirmed to Autoblog that the automaker is working on its own 4.8-liter V8 that will power the mid-engine Esprit, along with the front-engine Elite and Eterne. Naturally, they're remaining mum on outputs, but it's safe to assume that the naturally aspirated version will top out around 570 horsepower while a higher-tuned variant would crest 620 hp.

Additionally, the chassis set to underpin the entire range of next-generation Lotus vehicles will be fully modular, allowing the automaker to swap front, middle and rear sections as needed and with very little modification. Front- and mid-engine platforms will be different, but the same basic components holding the Elite together would also be used for the Eterne. Similarly, the Esprit chassis could be reworked for the next Evora (or Elan, depending on whether the Evora name carries enough cache in the following years) and could mean that the Evora could get V8 power – although don't hold your breath for that one.

UPDATE: Sources at Lotus have informed us that the base 4.8-liter V8 will produce 570 hp and that an higher-spec version – without turbos – will boost output to 620 hp. The text of the post has been amended to reflect these figures.


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  • 24 Comments
      Mike B
      • 3 Years Ago
      It has been said before, the target for the naturally aspirated version of the V8 is 550hp
      Eyewants
      • 3 Years Ago
      This could easily be the next NSX. Unfortunately, Honda is asleep. Should they wake up, I would suggest getting a date with Lotus and going to bed(ha-ha). If not, hurray for Lotus even though you may not be taken seriously by the general audience(production woes). Nonetheless, a very sexy car. More so than the MacClaren.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      This all sounds awesome, but I'm just worried that Lotus has bitten off more than they can chew. Developing a myriad of new models AND their own engine could easily spell disaster for a company as small as Lotus.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        McLaren's twin turbo V8 is working out pretty well for them, and they're even a smaller manufacturer than Lotus despite having more money. There's been no reported problems. Plus, Lotus has built their own engines in the past, especially with the previous Esprit with its 3.5L twin turbo V8. Which, by the way, had no real problems with the engine itself, but had electrical problems. The engine was a pretty capable engine and showed a lot of potential for more power. Lotus isn't AT ALL a small manufacturer. If they were, they wouldn't have the money to fund a Formula 1 team for 2 years, and develop an all-new race engine for contention in next year's IndyCar series. Don't underestimate Lotus when it comes to building engines. Take a look at the C4 Corvette ZR-1 with its Lotus-developed LT4. One of the most desirable Corvettes in the model's history.
        oRenj9
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Agreed, I'm surprised they didn't strike an engine deal with Ford. The 5.0 would make a great motor for Lotus in BOSS 302 form and the Mustang V6 could do very well in the Evora with just minor tweaks. That would just leave four-pot power, but I'm sure they could figure out something for that as well.
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @oRenj9
          Then what would they use for the higher trim level Esprit? Because I don't think 440hp is going to do it to keep up with what Lotus is going after with this new Esprit. The new Esprit is being targetted at Lamborghini, Ferrari, and especially McLaren.
      FriskyDingo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love this design, and I really hope Lotus can succeed and rise up through the ranks of the supercar and sportscar markets. Such a great brand.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now this just looks 5 times better than everything else they've put out to date. I'm all for it.
      Xedicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know die hard Lotus fans aren't happy about the new direction they're taking, but to me, this feels like Lotus is finally growing up and joining the big leagues. Their previous experience in making crazy light cars will certainly come in handy, but I'd imagine that if they want to keep the doors open they finally need to start building cars will a broader appeal. I'm really looking forward to seeing how Lotus will position themselves with their new cars.
      patrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      I HOPE THEY USE A CROSSPLANE CRANKSHAFT SO IT SOUND LIKE A REAL v8, AND NOT LIKE FOUR BANGER.
      lorenzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dont know if I want a Lego car with the most complex part coming from a manufacturer that has no track record designing such things.
        Kip
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lorenzo
        Actually, the underpinnings of the current Elise/Exige and Evora are already modular. The front and rear structures are bolted and glued to the tub that holds the passengers. I read this article to mean that this approach will continue. So if you take the Lego reference with a grain of salt and think of it as the overall chassis having different front, middle, and back components that are connected, it's pretty easy to see where they could use the same tub, but different front and rear structures to support different engine locations, a different tub with similar front and rear structures to support a 4-seater versus a 2-seater, etc.
        Scap
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lorenzo
        Lotus does a ton of contract engineering for engine parts across the auto industry. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lorenzo
        No track record in designing such things? The current Lotus Elise and Evora already have this design, and it seems to work pretty well. Also, they have a HUGE track record in developing engines. Ever heard of the C4 Corvette ZR-1? It was powered by a Lotus-developed 350c.i. V8 called the LT4. As said up above to Hazdaz, they developed the previous Esprit's twin turbo 3.5L V8, which was shown to be quite a capable engine despite the electrical gremlins.
        howam00
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lorenzo
        Lotus did design the original Corvette ZR-1 32v motors in the early 90's. I know it is a different group now than it was then but they should be able to pull this off.
      D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, we have seen another act, of a 12 year old CEO OF LOTUS, the guy has driven the likes of success into the ground, one more time, the biggest mistake lotus owners have made is letting Dandy boy spend money and make too many decisions, This is what one person that has all the answers dose (((it don’t work))) burn Dandy boys ideas down, If you have a lotus sale it, the appeal is going down, we understand, the apple of a marketable item is based on its worth and the ability to get people to perceive the value as a needed item, were in the universe dose making this swizzle stick a great move, we are trying to get 12-22 year kids to buy cars and poor people, great job Dandy boy, some one screwed up giving Dandy boy the CEO job why we could have given him a job at Lotus but at the back of the room with no Desk, Pen or Paper.
      Matt.P
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is beautiful.
      GreWee
      • 3 Years Ago
      For the love of god: Definition of CACHE 1 a : a hiding place especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements b : a secure place of storage 2 : something hidden or stored in a cache 3 : a computer memory with very short access time used for storage of frequently or recently used instructions or data —called also cache memory Definition of CACHET 1 a : a seal used especially as a mark of official approval b : an indication of approval carrying great prestige 2 a : a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige b : prestige 3 : a medicinal preparation for swallowing consisting of a case usually of rice-flour paste enclosing a medicine 4 a : a design or inscription on an envelope to commemorate a postal or philatelic event b : an advertisement forming part of a postage meter impression c : a motto or slogan included in a postal cancellation Bookmark em at http://www.merriam-webster.com/
      diskreet
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love my Elise. I was thinking after paying it off I'd just start saving up for a used Ferrari, since that really is my ultimate goal. However, with Lotus' current plan, I could see myself buying a new Elan. And yes, I'm upset that the next Elise is going softer and heavier. However, if lotus wants to sell more than a few hundred a year, and take on Porsche, they have to make it more livable. The new Boxster was just caught testing and I have no doubt it's going to be a superb drive. I'll keep the Elise, and wait to see what's next.
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