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ninja6485

A return of the 4 cylinder esprit?

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I have started a sort of similar thread on the General Motoring/Lotus/Esprit about the new era of internal combustion engines. After reading this, and some of the news events from the last few weeks, as well as visiting the Geneva motor show recently, these are my thoughts:

1) Car manufacturers are developing interesting high-power, small capacity turbo-charged engines. All the major firms are involved. We will see this sort of thing on a broad front before hybrids and EV's. How this translates into day-to-day driving torque is another story.

2) Four cylinders have an unfair image problem for high-end sports cars. No matter how powerful they are. HOWEVER, it CAN become an interesting (but risky) differentiation for a company like Lotus to develop a 4 pot with F430 power. Let us not forget the Porsche 944 was a hot and sexy seller; nobody ever complained much about THAT image problem. (Ok, that wasn't really "top end").

3) Despite major developments and advancements in alternative hybrid and electric technology, people may think cognitively that is a good idea, however, people are simply not "excited" about it. This may be a very interesting marketing and consumer psychology issue that could be the key: it is an ethereal quality of consumers to sometimes reject the rational and go with their hearts.

4) The Evora is a V6, so it will be weird if the new Esprit has a 4-pot. By the way, I saw the Evora for the first time in the flesh, it has left me cold. It is a bit bland compared to a 20-year old Esprit. It is also quite small, looks like a new Europa, or a large Elise. It just doesn't tickle me. It looks better in photos though.

5) Crazy prediction time: Formula 1 will go back to turbo-charging and small capacities in the next decade. Ferrari and Porsche will both develop a 4-cylinder model.

Anyway, these are just my own crazy musings.

Etienne Botes

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

4-cylinder engines may come into style again:

http://www.motorauthority.com/eu-proposes-...nes-for-f1.html

Back in the 80s -- during the Esprit's heyday -- there were a few 4-cylinder turbo F1 cars. Perhaps F1 cars having 4-cyl engines lends some public legitimacy to the idea of a 4-cyl supercar?

As far as a supercar needing to have a V8 or more, I think it would be really cool for Lotus to build a small displacement V8 or V12! :o Then they can have their small engine efficiency, and people can be impressed by it having a V-something.


Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Lotus already has ELISE

We don't want ESPRIT to use I-4 engine..no way!

ESPRIT is the top class in the Lotus family, it deserves to have a V8 Twin Turbo, or even a V10/V12

Edited by esprithk

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My own thoughts are that the Elise already has the 4pot, the Evora has the V6, so the Esprit MUST have the V8.

You can have a reasonably small capacity V8 turbocharged to produce a decent dose of WHHHHOOOAAAAOOOOOOOOOOO!

Just look at the 2004 Esprit or the S350. These are, effectively, detuned race engines.

The engine was designed to be light weight and capable of lots more power. Emissions and the Renault tranny etc cut it all back to the 350hp the car has.

I suspect the if the Government allowed concessions for green fuels, such as bio-ethanol, Lotus could make a small V8 with enormous power, such as the Exige 260 or whatever they called it. All it need is the ECU programmed correctly, the injectors, pumps, fuel tanks and lines made to cope with the slightly corrosive nature of the fuel and bobs your uncle. OK maybe one or two other mods but its not beyond the wit of Lotus

Trouble is, the Guvvinment and Gordo the CRETIN are only interested in TAX RECEIPTS. >>>Which means they will ignore bio-ethanol and deal with crude oil fuels and tax them to death while slagging them off for being non green and deathly polluting.

Lotus have to juggle the technology with the POLITICS! Its all unfair and completely nuts really....

If I was PM ...

Edited by DBredS4

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Have to agree that, as the "flagship" of the marque (and now having firmly established a V8 pedigree), any re-release of the Esprit simply has to be a V8 (or more!) to retain "supercar" status. Fuel costs are not "issue # 1" for those with pockets deep enough for purchase from new.

If even the well heeled are in need of expressing a social conscience with regard to conservational issues, certainly it must be possible to build a small displacement "new technology" V8 with 500+ HP with a service life of normal length--we are all aware of the HP potential of even the current "detuned" V8. Imagine a newer version with bigger turbos (worried about lag?, make them "sequential"!) intercoolers, direct injection, variable valve timing, higher grade pistons, rods, and crankshaft to allow for a higher redline, tuned exhaust manifolds, etc.

The real issue is whether or not Lotus can find the funding to develop such a motor in-house. Failing that, one would hope that a suitable supplier might be found.

A new 4 banger Esprit? I just don't see it. Might as well go pure electric and be done with it.

Just my opinion, of course.


Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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That's the ticket, Dave. Brilliant! Gang three of those puppies together, making for a "one-upmanship" tour de force 9 cylinder 4.5L econo-monster! Problem solved. :)


Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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Guest bharper

the ideal lotus powerplant would be the engine from a z06 corvette, 427 cubic inch aluminum small block, 505hp, and epa road economy of 26mpg! These engines are available for around $15k/us dollars in the crate. A stock z06 will top out at 198mph.

some of the base corvettes get 28mpg highway...

z06 engine in a new design esprit would get'r done..... titanium rods and valves I believe. The z06 only weighs a little over 3100 pounds - has a aluminum space frame chassis, a lot of magnesium parts, carbon fiber front fenders and floor pan to keep the weight down.

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Noooooo! That would be the antithesis of a Lotus engine. It should not be a great, big thing but something small, light and efficient. A big engine is too easy. And do we need cars with 200 mph top speeds anymore? Have something smaller, with a de-clutchable supercharger to give it plenty of low-speed torque while keeping good in-town economy and taking up less space allowing the car to be smaller and lighter.


S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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While the 'vette z06 engine may very well be a fine motor (I'm not the one to ask), Brian, there might be an "image problem" (deserved or not) with having a "Chevy" engine in a Lotus. And like Trevor, I would favor a smaller displacement powerplant that makes use of cutting edge technological advances to pump up the output.

The old saying "There is no substitute for cubes" may not have as much application to a Lotus product. There's an historical heritage to preserve here.

Again, just my 2 cents. :)


Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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home_page_engine2.jpg

Hartley H1 2.8 V8 400 bhp+ and the same size and weight as the average four pot

(think i posted about this engine earlier)

Edited by Setras

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Four cylinders?

Hard to go past the 2.5 litre WRX boxer engines. No other engine carries so little weight so low except maybe the rotary. Think what that does for roadholding. Capable of high power and can sound so distinctive with the right mufflers too. Plus a multitude of OEM and aftermarket gearbox options and double clutch autos too.

subaru-impreza-wrx-sti-engine.jpg

25_shortblock.jpg


DanR

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I've had V8s, yet my favourite 2 cars both had 4s Lotus Elan and Lotus Esprit. There's something cheeky about a 4 the hoons can never believe this poxy little 4cyl just blew off his thumping V8. It shows a regard for the environment, leading edge technology, it's very Lotus.

Roger :)


Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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"It shows a regard for the environment..."

Out of curiosity, does anyone know (factually, not simply an opinion--will accept "educated guesses") whether or not there is a significant difference (if any) in pollutant output between a 4 banger and a V8 of equal displacement? If so, why?

If they both produce essentially the same volume of exhaust, would that not be the same volume of "emmissions?"

Assuming that is so, given the choice, is there not some degree of "prestige" (warranted or not) attached to the V8 (or greater) designation?

This would leave the primary justification for a 4 pot, IMO, as being less moving (and stationary for that matter) parts--hence (one might hope) lower maintenance costs. Is there any intrinsic reason why a 4 cylinder engine might develope greater output per cubic inch, i.e. less friction, etc. that might provide further justification? And if so, would that be enough to overcome the "image problem" (again, warranted or not) when going up against other exotic marques?


Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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An interesting point, recalling those evocative days long since past a Brabham BMW, a 4 cyl the team at the time owned by one Mr B Ecclestone. Final qualifying on Saturday afternoon, Nelson Piquet thundering around belching pure black smoke! operating on the tried and trusted theory, turn up boost, flow more fuel, get more power. It still holds good, my boost goes to .8, I start to cry as the fuel gauge plumets.

I cannot offer any factual eveidence, but what does that matter it sounds good and I like fours, so I'm going to invocke the jurnalistic code, "Why let the facts get in the way of a good story".

So there, :sofa:


Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Guest bharper

The z06 ls7 427 is an alloy SMALL BLOCK, probably not that different in size or weight of the lotus v8. ls7_1.jpg

Pretty much the pinnicle of US small block development.

Would stateside prefer a GM engine, or Toyota engine? Is the toyota engine holding back Lotus's current offerings? What is the current price for a new 910 from the factory, something like $40k???

Current price at Jegs is under $14,200.00, and oem price in quantity could be 2/3rds or 1/2 of that.

Bottom line, lots of power, affordable, meets polution standards, great fuel economy, and could be serviced without having to finance the repairs.

So instead, invent some new $40-50k engine, that like the lotus v8 will probably require a rebuild every 25k miles, with tune ups every 5k miles. Or stuff a BMW or Merc engine in it of like price, and pay an arm and a leg for service.

It may lack double-overhead camshafts, and not be the horsepower-per-liter champion, but the LS7 pumps out 505 hp and is the only 400-plus-hp car to avoid the federal gas-guzzler tax.

Did the ford cleveland engine hold back the Pantera? Did a ford engine hold back a Shelby Cobra?

To me, a supercar should be more like an elise's spartan interior, more styled like a can-am car in looks and performace, and be bad to the bone. Maybe an ultima with the ls7 or a big block zl1 would be my vision of what a supercar should be. Not some gadget driven 007 car.

In the current economy, the biggest question right now is if GM will be here longterm to service it, or Lotus here long enough to have a use for it. A ls7 engine could drop the price of a new Esprit by probably $30k over other alternatives, and still outrun almost any car under $500k. A z06 vette smokes a 430 ferrari, at three to four times the price.

Technically advanced does not have to mean that your drivetrain has to be as complex as possible, sometimes simple is better.

Here is a very good article on the ls7....

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You have to look back at the story of big super bike engines. Everyone went mad for massive 4 cyclinder Jap bikes, then came along the big v-twins from Duccati, and they were the engine to have, then all the jap manufacturers followed with their own versions, then we go some carzy big singles following on from the v-twin boom and then back to 4-pots doing their stuff.

So now there are flavours for everyone. The v-tiwn boys harp at the 4 pots and vice versa. They have different sounds and torque curves but are all within a smidgin of each other in speed terms.

Car engines I thnk will now follow this type of trend, generally speaking

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Interesting discussion. Just for comparison purposes, a "fully trimmed" LS7 weighs about 460 lb. which is pretty much identical to the stated 210 kg weight of the Lotus V8.


77 Esprit S1

Rebirth in progress

"the $6 m. car!, we can rebuild it, better, stronger,.....faster!"

94 RX7 R2, Mazdaspeed bits

2016 NB Focus RS

1944 Willys MB rescue

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Guest bharper

if you want to go really nucking futs, here are turnkey supercharged and twin turbocharged ls7's, both reportedy producing around the 900hp mark..............

ls_super.jpgls_turbos.jpg

would probably get you to the market and back.

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Unfortunately the issue about an engine for the Esprit has already been decided "by force" as it were by the engine choice for the Evora. By default, the Espirt now will have to have an 8 cylinder engine. IMO the 3.5 litre V6 twin turbo for the Evora is a bit over-engined for such a tiny car. I have seen it in Geneva, it is tiny, but I guess it needs all that power to haul all that weight.

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I think having the Cleveland engine in the back did hold back the Pantera making it a bit of a mongrel compared to Ferraris and Lamborghinis. There's also been lots of discussion on here about how not having a Lotus-designed and built engine in the Esprit replacement. However, as pointed out, such an engine would cost way to much to be economical and the stories say a BMW is the likely power unit of choice.

I don't know what the cost to Lotus of such an engine is compared to an LS7. It may be close as they are rumoured to be using an old M5 engine rather than a current production unit so I guess all the tooling is already written off.

However, my problem with the LS7 is not to do with any misconception about lacking performance or economy but rather its nature being at odds with the supercar expectation where a high-revving unit is the norm rather than a torquey monster.


S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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"...both reportedly producing around the 900hp mark..."

At 900 HP :) perhaps the "image problem" begins to melt away, Brian. Will they pass a MOT? How soon can I get one? :sofa:

Of course, this just kicks the "transmisson can" down the road for the next poor bloke to solve. Do we have any transaxle LEF specialists with the answer? :shock:


Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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Guest bharper

the stock redline on an ls7 is 7,000 rpm....

zo6 vette 0-60 is 3.7 seconds, and if the ecu limit is not active, 198 mph.

yea, guess that is not enough.

Certainly makes sense to build the esprit around something two to three times as expensive, two to three times as expensive to maintain, that gets half the fuel economy, and 2/3's the horsepower and performance.

All that for just the snob appeal of the bmw marquee?

sorry, that is pretty sad in my book.

also pretty said a car of half the price of what a new esprit will cost will eat its lunch. exactly who does that make the supercar?

remember back when the zr1 corvette had a lotus v8???? who do you think funded the development - GM.... what do you think the lotus v8 evolved from?

Guys, I am sorry if I have offended anyone, that was not the intent. I just find it amusing that Lotus would overlook probably the best high performance power plant on the planet because it did not cost enough, or was not snobby enough, or perhaps because the fuel economy was too good.

I will give it a rest.

Edited by bharper

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