British automaker Lotus will develop its own range of V6 and V8 engines after it decided to delay production of the new Elan.
According to CEO Dany Bahar, the mid-engined 450bhp V6 model was “too close” to the new Esprit and the four-seater would not appear until towards the end of its five-year plan.
Now the entire capacity and funds for the delayed Elan will be used for the new engine family, which could include a 4-cylinder variant for basic models.
“This is a big [financial] hit because it’s expensive to do ?an engine,’ says Bahar. “But ?because the Elan is not happening now we have got capital expenditure headroom ?for engine development.”
According to some autocar sources, work on the new engines started late last year, and the first prototype V8 will fire up next month. Insiders say it will develop around 550-570bhp. Lotus engineers are targeting Ferrari’s V8 .
The naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 in the Ferrari 458 Italia makes 570 horses at a hair raising 9,000 rpm and 540 Nm of torque.