Lotus plans for its new Esprit to be powered by its own design for a V8 engine, company boss Dany Bahar said in an interview with Autocar. Lotus is presently conducting a feasibility study on using an all-new, Hethel-engineered V8 in the 2012 Esprit and a V6 for the new Elan and other models.
He said that Lotus is considering using its own engine since it has actually already made three engines for other carmakers. He described the engine as “the heart” of a sports car and said that Lotus should use its own product.
Bahar said that even with the high investment costs of developing two new engines, it may end up paying dividends with future cost savings as a result of the commonality of parts.
According to Lotus engineering chief Wolf Zimmerman, the planned three-strong family of mid-engined Lotuses that will begin with the Esprit will share a common platform, brakes, suspension and electrical systems.
Bahar added that this decision was made because of the reaction from customers on the new Esprit being powered by a Toyota V8, which many sports-car enthusiasts think is not good enough.
However, Bahar pointed out that the final decision on if Lotus will approve the cash for engine development will be made at the end of January. Bahar said that this decision will be “purely financial.”