Rumor: New Lotus Esprit to use Lexus LFA’s V10 engine

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

A source revealed that the next-generation Lotus Esprit supercar could be powered by the 552hp Lexus LFA V10. Complete details will be announced during the 2010 Paris Auto Show next month. The Esprit in its ultimate form will be showcased; however, the more mainstream version would be available with a V8, which is believed to be sourced from Lexus.

This engine is likely to be a version of the 416-hp 5.0-liter engine that influences the shift upmarket for the sports-car maker. If this significant new strategy works, we have CEO Dany Bahar to thank as this was his creation.

More details will be revealed in Paris but it becomes apparent now that Bahar and his new management team (including Bob Lutz as a consultant) have come to the conclusion that Lotus is underexploited as a brand and that to be profitable, it will have to produce cars that have larger margins.

 This indicates that the building models have to compete closely with Ferrari, Jaguar, Maserati and Porsche, among others.

Lotus is not new to this territory. In fact, the previous Esprit, which was ended in 2004, had competed at the bottom end of this segment. However, it didn’t compete further due to the fiberglass construction and doubts about the build quality. The new Esprit will be built with much higher standards as it will be propelled further by the company’s relationship with Toyota.

Lotus' engines and gearboxes and plenty of lesser components are supplied by Toyota; hence, the sourcing of Lexus hardware can’t be considered to be a huge jump. The new Esprit is expected to the key to Lotus's plans to improve its profile in the US and other major markets around the world. [via insideline]

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