Upcoming Lotus Esprit to feature V10 engine used by Lexus LFA

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

There are speculations stating that the V10 powerplant that delivers up to 500 bhp of output 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 8,500 rpm V10 unit (to rival the Lamborghini Gallardo), including a less expensive variant equipped with the 5.0-liter, 417 bhp V8 mill 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 300 bhp.

Although a V8 engine 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 United Kingdom, Europe and United States.

Complete details will be announced by Lotus during the 2010 Paris Auto Show slated next month.

Lotus launched the very first Esprit sports car in October 1975 at the Paris Motor Show. The first Esprit sports cars – known as Series 1 or S1– entered production in 1976. The Series 1 was considered as an embodiment of Lotus performance through light weight mantra, as it tipped the scales at less than 1,000 kg (2,205 lb).

The Esprit Series 2 followed in 1978 and was succeeded by the Series 3 in 1981. At the same year, the Turbo Esprit, Esprit Turbo and Esprit X180 were launched. The Series 4 was introduced in 1993 the Esprit V8 was launched in 1996. Both the Series 4 and the Esprit V8 ended production in 2004, effectively ending the sports car’s 28-year production run.

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