Lotus Previews In-house V8, Talks Hybrids For New Esprit Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Dec, 14 2011 | 2 Comments

Lotus has released a new video in the lead-up to the launch of its next-generation Esprit supercar, offering a first listen to the company's new in-house V8 engine.

The video sees Lotus CEO Dany Bahar speak of the carmaker's decision to produce its own powerplant, moving away from its earlier plan to utilise the Lexus IS F's 5.0 litre V8.

"To take the decision to design your engine is a big decision, it is a brave decision, and we've taken that decision," Bahar said. "We are building, step after step, to the future, to become something big."

Wolf Zimmerman, the company's Chief Technical Officer, added that it is important to keep everything in-house if Lotus is to compete with the Ferrari image.

"We want to be pure Lotus. It's the heart of our new vehicles. The engine is unique, because it is something really new, what nobody did before," Zimmerman said.

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The company has yet to reveal any technical details for the new engine, although reports have pointed to insider claims that it will feature a 4.8 litre capacity, delivering between 425kW and 460kW, depending on the variant.

Speaking with Britain's Autocar this week, Bahar was also quoted as confirming the existence of a hybrid system in the entry-level Esprit, linking a 75kW electric motor to a detuned version of the V8 engine.

The flagship models will reportedly go without the hybrid system however, focusing instead on eking maximum power out of the V8 and keeping weight down - easier done without a hefty battery pack on-board.

“There will be no hybrid system [for the top-shelf models], the engine will have more power, but the major performance gains will come from losing weight,” Bahar told Autocar.

“The ‘Racing’ versions of each model will always be pure, driver’s cars. There will be never be anything unnecessary on them, and we will use materials such as carbon fibre.”

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