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Alternative Engine Options?


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i know this may seem like sacrilege by putting another motor and transaxle in the car, but why not drop in a LS1 engine or another engine and add a turbo kit to that? I mean after all the stock V8 is really just a ford racing engine. Seems like there are a lot more reliable platforms out there. Hell even old M5 V8s are starting to get real cheap (which is rumored to be the engine for the next Lotus Esprit in 2009 if the rumors are in fact true). G50 seems like a much stronger transaxle so that would obviously be a necessity. I know the cars character would be changed but at the same time so would the large number of headaches those stock engines produce. Again, just a thought :) ... discuss freely :blink:

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And just to start the discussion, here is one option...

And to make it look ALOT less american and more exotic...

Seems like LS1 is a good candidate b/c it is such a compact V8, Benz & BMW V8s are massive where as the LS1 has really been made to fit in tight compact areas. anyways discuss :blink:

Edited by bimmabimma
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The Lotus 918 V8 is not a "Ford racing engine".

i read somewhere it uses a ford racing flat plane crankshaft though. dunno if that was true or not. just what i read. either way regardless, seems like alternative engines would be worth a shot. Seems like there are so many better platforms.

Hmmm, Never thought of audi, thats a great idea. Still has turbo so it would keep the same turbo character and audi engines are much more reliable than the lotus unit. Definitely a great idea. Perhaps even an inline 6 twin turbo (if there is enough room lengthwise in the engine bay). again just throwing ideas around

Edited by bimmabimma
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I fancy putting a LT-5 Chevrolet engine into an S2 Esprit body, using a V8 chassis/ interior and a Hewland DG300 gearbox.

As the LT-5 was designed and developed by Lotus ,I wouldnt feel too guilty about doing this! :)


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i couldnt stick another "engine " in the lotus, wouldnt be right.

last year i went to a classic car event at the south west festival of motoring, audi had a stand there. i was stood in front of one of the new audis with the lamborghini engine in, the guys at the stand came over and siad" so you like the car then its very nice and fast" to which i replied.." i cant believe you have ruined it" .. "what?" they said.. i replied " the lamborghini engine... you have ruined it by sticking it inside this old crate" like balboni said to donkerwolfe " so your the guy that designed the new engine cover then?" when referring to the murcielago

the look of shock on the guys was amazing, i had to walk away shaking my head and tutting

oh i bet ferrucio has done a full 360 in his grave!!

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you can fit most non-dohc and some dohc v8's with ease. The trick is finding a transmission that wont explode for under $10k. A good G50 modified for mid engine use with a starter, clutch, bellhousing and adapter is going to cost right in the ballpark of $10k. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives namely:

Audi 20V 5cyl using an audi gearbox with RS2 internals and a welded diff. Looking at $5k in parts and the audi ecu's & wiring are very easy to work with. I'm still trying to confirm vertical clearance of the 20v motor but its #1 on my list of choices.

Subaru flat4 + trans from japanese sti's. These motors can make a reliable 350hp all day long with no internal modifications. Like the audi trans you will have to weld the diff to convert it to 2wd and have beefier axles made. A low mileage engine/trans/ecu from japan is ~ $3000 plus whatever you want to put into it for more power. I have made no efforts to confirm fitment as the subaru motor is very low and very wide.

Ford/Yamaha V6 from old taurus SHO. Convert the car to transverse engine like the NSX. This motor will make 300hp normally aspirated and 400+hp with a turbo. The ford trans can take alot of abuse but will require a good clutch and stronger axles. A local yard has this engine/trans with 80k miles for $500.

Speaking of the NSX.. the 3.2 acura motor and 6 speed trans (found also in the TL) will make 300+hp with an off the shelf supercharger and a few boltons. There are people making 400hp normally aspirated with these motors. Again you are converting to a transverse setup, these motors go for $2500 with 6 speed trans and low miles.

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The 3rd generation Toyota 3S-GTE from the Japanese MR2 would probably work quite well. I squeaked 318 rwhp out of mine before selling it. My vote would be for the Mitsubishi 4G63 out of the EVO/Eclipse. These engines are bullet proof, and the aftermarket support for them is fantastic. They can be had for $2000 on Ebay, and can be found with OBD II computers for those in the states.

However, if you're going to screw up a car, you might as well do it right. The LS1 or LS2 would be fantastic, especially with a pair of turbos.

This brings me to a question...can one swap just the transmission and leave the Lotus engine alone (95 S4)? It seems as if a rock-solid transmission would solve a lot of problems.

Edited by Riddlemr2
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