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2012 Lotus Esprit: Powered by Lexus?

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2004 Lotus Esprit

2004 Lotus Esprit

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A new Lotus Esprit is in the works, and reports suggest that like the Evora coupe, the Esprit will get its power from Toyota.

Last year, we brought you the first live photos of the 2009 Lotus Evora from the London motor show. That new 2+2 coupe sports a version of Toyota's corporate 3.5-liter V-6, chosen for reliability and flexibility, Lotus directors said at the world debut.

The Evora is a linchpin in Lotus' strategy to spin off a lineup of vehicles from a single aluminum-body architecture, akin to Aston Martin's strategy. Over the course of the next four years, Lotus promises two more new vehicles--including a replacement for the Elise roadster and Exige coupe, and the new Esprit. All will use Lotus’ Versatile Vehicle Architecture, with aluminum construction and other lightweight chassis components.

For the Esprit, Lotus will again turn to Toyota for an engine. The latest report from Motor Authority says Toyota will offer Lotus a V-10 engine in development for the Lexus LF-A supercar, a project that's been reported cancelled and revived repeatedly over the past year. In Lotus spec, the engine could be tuned to produce more than 500 horsepower. Other options include the 420-hp V-8 found in the 2009 Lexus IS-F and the 300-hp V-6 Lotus will fit into the Evora.

Esprit Coupe and Convertible models are said to be in the product plan. A launch in 2011 could mean the 2012 Lotus Esprit arrives in America in two years' time--a mere 36 years after the first Esprit knifed its way into automotive history.

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