Lotus to go in-house, upmarket with new V8 for upcoming Esprit?

Lotus Esprit Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Lotus unveiled its slew of new concepts at the Paris Motor Show, it included a rather enticing new take on the Esprit. The show car packed the 5.0-liter V8 from the Lexus IS-F, but the latest reports suggest that the British automaker is planning on developing its own eight-pot engine for the supercar.

Although the original mid-engined exotic used four- and eight-cylinder engines developed and built in-house, the newer generation of Lotus sportscars have used engines borrowed from Toyota. However, rumors have been circulating that the partnership with the Japanese auto giant could be coming to a close as Lotus weighs returning to building its own engines.

And little wonder, as the Esprit will reportedly be positioned significantly higher than any of the current models. While the current range-topping Evora S sells for around $76,000, reports indicate that the Esprit will more than double that in the $170-200K range.

That would make it more expensive than the Porsche 911 Turbo ($137K) or even the Turbo S ($160K), but undercut the top-of-the-line GT2 RS ($245K)... not to mention the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren MP4-12C and Lamborghini Gallardo (all of which start above $220K) by a significant margin – and crucially pack their own lunches.

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