Lotus Motorsport successfully fired up a new engine at Dallara Automobili’s main office in Varano Melegari, Italy on December 22. The fire-up is in preparation for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar series, where Lotus serves as the official supplier of engines and aero kits. The engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter V-6 with a horsepower of 550 to 700.
The Lotus crew will be shipping the engine for full testing next month. Lotus Motorsport has also performed the first proper shakedown of its Exige R-GT rally car in Turin, Italy. The Exige R-GT is powered by the same supercharged V-6 engine of the 2012 Lotus Exige S, its road car counterpart.
Lotus engineers, however, made substantial modifications to the Exige R-GT’s gearbox and engine restrictors to control the rally car’s power. Lotus will conduct few more shakedowns in preparation for the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship season.
Lotus will enter the FIA GT category on asphalt at events in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse and San Remo. Although Lotus may not launch the Exige S in the U.S., reports say that a track-only variant will be available in 2012 for around $90,000.
Claudio Berro said: "The fire up in the car went really well, there were no nasty surprises and I think our partners are going to be very happy with the results. It was only October last year that we announced that we would become an IndyCar engine supplier and just 12 months on, we had an all new Lotus engine and three teams signed up - Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing. We've still got a lot of work to do ahead of the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season but so far I'm very encouraged by what I see."