After Lotus decided to put off the start of production of the new Elan, it has decided to create its own lineup of V6 and V8 engines. Lotus chief Dany Bahar said that the mid-engined 450bhp V6 model was “too close” to the new Esprit.
He also revealed that the four-seater would only emerge near the end of the company’s five-year plan. The new modular engine range, which may receive an in-line four, will be developed using the funds that were initially intended for the Lotus Elan.
Bahar explained that this project will cost a lot since “it’s expensive to do an engine.” He added that the decision to delay the Elan meant that it now has “capital expenditure headroom.”
Autocar disclosed that the company started working on the new range of engines in late 2010 and that the first prototype V8 “will fire up” this July. Sources say that this prototype will deliver about 550-570bhp. What these Lotus engineers are aiming for are Ferrari’s V8 levels.
Lotus wants to derive a four-engine from the new V8 but if fails to do so, then it will go back to using a Toyota engine. Lotus decided to develop its own engine lineup after it got the results of an online survey that received over 10,000 responses right after it unveiled six concept cars at the recently held Paris motor show.
Many commented that rather than featuring Toyota motors, Lotus should use its own engines. In addition, the survey had addressed if Lotus had to have the Eterne, a four-door model. Bahar pointed out that the Eterne is a four-door version of the front-engined Elite and so it will only require little added investment.