Yes, your read that correctly. Future Lotus sports cars could be ditching their much loved Toyota hearts in favor of Lotus-designed mills.
According to a report by Autocar citing an interview with Lotus head Dany Bahar, Lotus is also looking into powering its 2014 Esprit with an all-new V-8 and its 2014 Elan with a Hethel-built V-6.
The executive admitted that up-front investment will be substantial, but the powertrains (which, like platforms, suspension systems, and brakes, will be shared amongst future family models) could pay significant dividends in the long term.
Another reason for the in-house mills:
“We have done three engines for other manufacturers; why not do it ourselves?” Bahar said to Autocar. “The engine is the heart of a sports car; we should do our own product.”
Furthermore, he added:
“In the mind of sports-car enthusiasts, Toyota power might not be good enough.”
When Lotus ceased production of the Esprit in 2004, it was powered by an all-aluminum 350-horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 that was built in-house.