2009 Lotus Esprit Compact Coupe: The Lotus Esprit has always been one of the odd super cars, at first having a four cylinder turbocharged engine whileothers were using V8s and V10s, before shifting to a V8 for the last production Esprit in 2004. Lotus is not likely to make the same mistake again with the reborn Espirit, which is expected to arrive with a mid mounted V8 from the beginning. The name Esprit is by no means certain though, as Lotus is considering giving the car an all new name.The engine is likely to come from an outside source, as Lotus has decided that building an engine in house is too expensive for the project. The previous V8 engine can’t be used due to the old technology and the fact it no longer meets emissions requirements.The most common rumor engine wise is that a BMW V8 will be used, possibly the 4.8 liter V8, with power around the 400 horsepower level thanks to turbo charging.The car will be built on what Lotus calls ‘Versatile Vehicle Architecture’, an aluminum chassis that can be altered to suit other Lotus models in development.
The VVA was first seen on the Lotus APX concept car. It also means that the new Esprit will be available as both a coupe and a convertible.The new car will be built at Lotus’ headquarters at Hethel, rather than at any other possible location made possible by Proton’s ownership of the English brand. Previously, Proton executives had suggested that the car may even be built in Malaysia. The decision to build the cars at Hethel hinged on a restructuring and efficiency plan implemented at the plant, which is still ongoing. Between 1000 and 2000 cars will likely be built every year, with the emphasis on the lucrative US market. To that end the car will be engineered to meet all US legal and safety requirements from the beginning, unlike the previous Esprit.More of the stories here.