There are speculations stating that the 500bhp V10 powerplant can be the source of power for the Lotus Esprit, which will be released in 2012. The engine is currently being used in the Lexus LF-A, a car that has not yet been launched itself. Being connected with the Japanese carmaker Toyota, Lotus has access to its entire range of parts and components, as well as powerplants from the Lexus line.
This points to the likelihood of an Esprit flagship, costing more than £100,000, equipped with the compact 8500rpm V10 unit (to rival the Lamborghini Gallardo), including a less expensive variant equipped with the 5-liter, 417bhp V8 from the Lexus IS-F and an entry-level model coming with a Lotus-tuned direct-injection Toyota V6 unit that can come up with 300bhp.
Although a V8 or a V10 unit would definitely boost the profile of Lotus, there is also a possibility of an Eco Esprit. Lotus is moving forwards with more efficient products with lightweight engineering and its keen interest in alternative fuels and hybrid solutions.
This is also underline by its partnership with the electric car manufacturer Tesla. The Esprit was inspired by the larger bonded and extruded aluminum chassis of the recently launched Evora, the rear section of which have been developed to accommodate both transversely and longitudinally fitted engines.
Although the Lotus has shown that it can develop a new model in a short time (the Evora, for example, was developed in 27 months), the work on the Esprit will only reach its maximum when the Evora is being swept out of showrooms in the UK, Europe and US.
It is the Malaysians who are funding the Evora project, with the persuasion of Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley. The success of the Evora will make a strong business case for a new car, especially with many bad starts including the dead M250 project.