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New Lotus V8 will mean new 4-Cylinder engine too

Wed, 22 Jun 2011

2014 Lotus Elise - will get new 4-pot Lotus engine

It seems that Lotus are deadly serious in their plans to build an all new V8 engine to drop in to the new Lotus Esprit, and it also seems as though the Lotus engine revival isn’t going to end there.

The headline act is an all new modular Lotus V8 of 4.8 litres and boasting 562bhp. This is planned for the new Esprit, which is the only one of the crop of Lotus concepts actually under development, and will be ready to fire up in just a couple of months.

The new V8 is a lightweight, compact engine at just 170kg and just over 60cm long. Lotus intend that the new engine becomes an integral part of the Esprit’s structure, so it will be stressed in to the chassis as it is on many track cars.

It now seems that the idea of going back to making their own engines has appeal across the board, with plans to chop the new V8 in half to produce a 4-pot lump to use in the next generation Elise, ending a long relationship with Toyota.

And although we’ve been a little cynical about the Lotus plans, it does seem as though the Esprit is well under way, as is the new V8. Whether Lotus has the finance to develop their entire range, or if they will have to look for a ‘White Knight’ buyer to fund the rest of the concept range, remains to be seen.

But we have to applaud the ambition of Dany Bahar and his team. They’ve taken flack for their seemingly fantasy ambitions for Lotus to be a new Aston Martin,  and for the move away from what many consider to be Colin Chapman’s ethos of ‘Lighter and Simpler is Better’.

On the ‘New Aston Martin’ front, they certainly have a fighting chance if they have the funding available for the R&D. And on the disposal of Colin Chapman’s legacy, Chapman himself moved in exactly this direction in the ’70s with cars like the Esprit, Eclat and Elite, and sold off the ‘Cheap and Light’ to Caterham.

Maybe, just maybe, Lotus will make this work.

By Cars UK