The English sports car maker Lotus has a history of using Toyota power plants in their light weight, high performance machines. Just like the Elise was powered by the same 1.8 Liter VVT-i four cylinder found under the hood of the Celica, for 2012 the new Esprit could be powered by the same V10 that will go into the future Lexus LF-A super car. This means that the next Lotus Esprit will be competing with $100,000+ vehicles like the Lamborghini Gallardo.
For the rest of us, Lotus is preparing a version that will make use of the 5.0 Liter V8 that makes 417 HP in the Lexus IS-F. There is even talk of a 300 HP entry level version that will use a direct injected Toyota V6, tuned by Lotus. The way this is going, it wouldn’t be surprising if Lotus found a home for the new 1.8 Liter hybrid engine from the Prius in an eco-friendly Esprit.
However, none of this will see the light of day until Lotus puts the Evora on sale, because Lotus’s 2+2 chassis will be the starting point for the future Esprit. Either way, the English automaker will need to sell a few models and put away a few pounds before they can get to work.