On the 18th August, on time and as planned Lotus fired up the all new V8 engine which is to be the heart of the new era range of cars, starting with the Esprit in late 2013. The engine, designed in-house by Chief Technical Officer Wolf Zimmermann has so far ‘exceed all expectations’ in terms of power output, redline and other factors which is quite something seeing as the unit was expected to produce 590ps and 9,200rpm from our initial briefings.
The team worked incredibly hard to keep on schedule on such an important and complex project, actually meeting their deadline with 20 mins spare, firing the engine at 11.40pm on the 18th! They hope to have the engine fitted and running in a 2013 Esprit mule by the end of this year. This powerplant will also be used in the Elite and Eterne and could be used in V6 form in the Elan. Zimmermann also explained that it’s not too much work to convert into an inline 4 cylinder engine for the Elise, bringing all engines in house for Lotus. At 170kgs and just 612mm long, the unit will be dry sump lubricated to save depth and will feature a 180o flat plane crank to make it sound like a V8 should and the engine is being utilised as a stressed component, a technique pioneered by Colin Chapman in F1, specifically with the 1967 Type 49 to be used in the Le Mans LMP2 car in 2012.
Exciting times, watch this space for more news as we have it on the engine and new range of cars.