At a special ceremony held at the British Embassy in Tokyo, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar presented Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda with a special Elise R using the last 2ZZ-GE powerplant.
The production cycle of the Toyota 2ZZ-GE VVTLi four cylinder engine, which Lotus also uses, has ended but this recent event actually marks the start of an even stronger relationship between the two firms.
Yamaha designed the 2ZZ-GE engine, a high-revving unit that features variable valve timing and lift system that enables it to give a high level of power in naturally aspirated form (with an output of between 160 and 180 hp). The unit, when supercharged, can develop up to 250 hp.
Bahar said that Lotus’ presentation of Toyota's last 2ZZ engine in the Elise is a “symbolic gesture of [its] continued respect and deep appreciation for [its] partner not only acknowledging [its] past but also looking forward to [their] future together.”
Toyoda had responded to this statement. He said that a “completely unique drive feeling” is created with a Toyota engine powering a Lotus car. He added that he hopes car enthusiasts continue to experience this “special blend” of the best of Lotus and Toyota.