Lotus is doing a bit of rearranging in their kitchen now that plans for the Elan sports car have been placed on the backburner. Apparently, the British manufacturer is using the money that had been set aside for the Elan to develop their very own lineup of engines.
During an interview, Project Boss Dany Bahar said: "This is a big [financial] hit because it’s expensive to do
an engine," says Bahar. "But
because the Elan is not happening now we have got capital expenditure headroom
for engine development."
The first engine cooking is a V8 that will set up the competition for Ferrari’s V8 engine as seen in the 458 Italia. The new Lotus V8 will deliver between 550 - 570 HP and will undergo testing in July 2011. It will be dropped in the new Esprit model. After that, Lotus will go forth with a new V6 engine that will be used for a production version of the Eterne. Both of the new engines will be combined with an all-new aluminum platform that will be spectacularly light.
As for the Elan, Lotus says that the vehicle’s design was just too close to the Esprit so it would not be making its appearance on the lineup until the closer to the end of the company’s five year plan.
Lotus made a step forward at this year’s Paris Auto Show with the unveiling of the company’s first hybrid four door super saloon. Called Eterne, the new model will go on sale in early 2015 and will be priced at £120,000 (around $190,000 at the current rates).
The 2015 Eterne’s powertrain will combine a 5,0 liter V8 engine with a hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and KERS. The total output of 620 HP and 720 NM of torque will help the Eterne to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and to hit a top speed of 195 mph.
"The Eterne is sensational to look and as with the rest of the range it also over delivers in all other aspects as well. Similar to the Elite, it’s a car of perfect contradictions, it’s compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, relative lightweight yet still reassuringly solid. We truly believe that there is a market for the Eterne, there is nothing else like it out there both in terms of design, capacity and performance. The biggest difference between the Eterne and it’s class competitors is that it’s not an evolution of an existing two-door model, it’s a deliberate and considered stand-alone creation. It’s the ultimate four door sports car."
Press release after the jump. Full story