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Lotus Previews V-8 Engine, Will Offer Esprit Hybrid Options

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On: Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 10:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Previews V-8 Engine, Will Offer Esprit Hybrid Options

The hybrid supercar: It's a concept that we're going to see more and more of in the future, both in the form of hybrid power-boosting systems and full-blown hybrid systems designed to increase fuel economy while keeping power and performance up. Perhaps the most iconic upcoming hybrid supercar on the horizon is the 2013 Lotus Esprit.

According to an Autocar conversation with Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, Lotus will offer a hybrid powertrain on the 2013 Esprit. This comes as a bit of a surprise since Lotus is known to be developing an in-house V-8 engine for the Esprit. And why build a hybrid powertrain around a big, dirty V-8 engine?

The hybrid system appears to be a replacement for forced induction. When Lotus debuted the Esprit concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, it used a Lexus-sourced 5.0-liter V-8 that was said to be assisted by an unspecified pressure-charging system to the tune of 620-hp.

Rumors have indicated that Lotus's in-house V-8 will fall around 560-hp. Instead of using a turbo or supercharger, Lotus will employ a hybrid system to boost output by around 100 horses, according to Autocar's report. The report specifically says that the engine will be naturally aspirated.

Interestingly, the hybrid system will only be used on the base Esprit. A performance version will lose the hybrid system, gain some engine power and lose weight through the use of lighter materials, including carbon fiber.

We presume that Lotus is using the hybrid system as a way of making the Esprit cleaner, but the report doesn't specifically cite a reason for the switch from pressure charging to hybrid boosting.

In related news, Lotus teased its V-8 engine in a video this week. The video doesn't reveal any new details about the powerplant, but a minute worth of Esprit teasing is worth a look. With the Esprit set to debut at next year's Geneva show, you don't have to wait too much longer for all the juicy details.



Stephy21 | 10:01AM (Mon, Dec 19, 2011)

I think its good that Lotus is trying to help the environment out by putting a hybrid powertrain in their new lotus. All car manufactures should do this.

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