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Posts Tagged ‘Lotus toyota’

Lotus Delaying Elan, Using Cash to Develop New V-8

British maker hopes to use in-house engine, rather than Toyota powertrain.

by on Jun.13, 2011

Lotus will delay its next-gen Elan in order to develop its own V8 for the new Esprit supercar.

Little Lotus dropped a bombshell at last year’s Paris Motor Show, announcing plans to roll out five all-new products in quick succession over the next few years.  Power for most, perhaps all, the offerings would come from Toyota, which has had a long-running relationship with Lotus.

 

Skeptics have questioned the British maker’s ability to fund the project, which carried a projected cost of about $1.2 billion.  And, indeed, it now appears Lotus is rejigging its plans, but not because they were too ambitious, the maker insists.  If anything, the Brits are looking at an even more elaborate strategy, one that could see them power those future offerings with a trio of engines developed in-house.

What appears certain is that the striking new Lotus Esprit, which is expected to carry a price tag nudging up towards $200,000, will rely on a new, naturally-aspirated liter V-8 of “under” 5.0-liters in displacement.  Originally, the Esprit, Elite and Eterne models were all going to turn to Toyota, which had agreed to share a supercharged version of the V-8 it uses in the brutish Lexus IS-F.

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Expect that with the in-house V-8, the Esprit will get “horsepower at least in the mid-500 range,” Kevin Smith, the U.S. spokesman for Lotus, confided in TheDetroitBureau.com.

 

To come up with the cash needed to develop the new engine, the next-generation Lotus Elan will be delayed until the rest of the new product line-up rolls out, which should mean sometime after 2016, it appears.

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First Look: Lotus Elite

Hybrid muscle aims to move British brand from niche to mainstream.

by on Sep.21, 2010

Lotus enters the hybrid era with the Elite Concept.

The newly-expanded alliance between Toyota and Britain’s Lotus will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show, later this month.  And if all goes according to plan, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is determined to transform the brand from a niche to a relatively mainstream player.

The Lotus Elite concept will serve as the British marque’s new flagship when it makes the transition from show car to production model in April 2013, the maker says.  Whether it will maintain the high-tech hybrid system remains to be seen, however.

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Paris Preview!

In concept form, the Lotus Elite uses a front-mid-mounted V8 linked to an epicyclic transmission that is linked to a pair of electric motors.  As with the gasoline-electric systems under development by competitors ranging from Porsche to Ferrari, the goal is to boost mileage, to meet future American CAFE standards, drive down CO2 emissions, to comply with tough new European regulations – and provide some added torque for even more aggressive performance.

The Lotus Elite concept initially brings to mind the design language of an Aston-Martin.

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Lotus, Toyota Expanding Ties On Track And Street

Makers planning announcements at upcoming Paris Motor Show.

by on Sep.20, 2010

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and Lotus CEO Danny Bahar in Elise R.

When the tarp is lifted at the upcoming Paris Motor Show look for Lotus to unveil more than just a new model.  The British maker plans to announce details of its expanded partnership with Toyota, an alliance that is expected to involve both street and racing efforts.

Promising to “take (their) relationship to the next level,” the two makers intend to work together on “tailor-made powertrain solutions for Lotus cars,” they say.  The news was a significant development, presenting a positive spin on what could have been  troubling development for little Lotus.

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Insider Insight!

The British maker has long depended on Toyota engines for products like the Elise and Exige, but Toyota has pulled the plug on the torque little 2ZZ-GE engine used in those two-seaters.

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