Toyota and Lotus to continue strong relationship

September 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus celebrated its successful relationship with Toyota at the British Embassy in Tokyo where Lotus CEO Dany Bahar presented Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda with a specially equipped Lotus Elise powered by the last ever Toyota 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine.  The occasion marked the end of an era and the start of an even stronger relationship between the two companies.

As part of the celebration, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “The presentation of Toyota’s last 2ZZ engine in the Elise is a symbolic gesture of our continued respect and deep appreciation for our partner not only acknowledging our past but also looking forward to our future together.”

Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda responded saying “a Toyota engine in a Lotus car creates a completely unique drive feeling — a special blend featuring the best of Lotus and Toyota.”

Based on the successful cooperation with Toyota so far, Lotus has decided to take the relationship with Toyota to a new level that will enable Lotus to create tailor-made powertrain solutions for future Lotus cars.

For more details on exactly how Lotus will be partnering with Toyota in the future, simply look to the Lotus global unveiling at the Paris Motor Show on September 30th where Lotus will showcase their new line up to the world’s media.

Lotus ready to make new Esprit

November 12th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lotus Esprit fq

Lotus is currently in the best financial position it’s experienced for years, with its debts about to be cleared and production at full capacity. Focus is now turning to the future and one of the most exciting part will be a new-generation of the Esprit.

According to a recent report, Lotus has finally given the green light to a new Esprit. It’s no secret that Lotus has set its sights on the top level performance marques, with its new CEO Dany Bahar working on restoring the company to a level of competing directly with the world’s greatest supercars.

Bahar is set to announce a new seven-year plan for the company later this year but insider leaks have already divulged some of its key elements.

Apparently the new Esprit may not carry the original name and that it’s being designed as a halo model for the brand.

Lotus’ previous CEO Mike Kimberley had revealed that new Esprit is being developed together with “a very well respected prestige automaker.” Most people thought that BMW would supply one of its V8 engines for the new Esprit but Lotus’ close workings with Toyota, could see advanced Lexus engines used instead.

The 552 horsepower V10 engine, which is set to debut in the 2011 Lexus LFA supercar next year, would probably be reserved for a range-topping Esprit, but a mid-spec model could get the IS-F’s 420 horsepower V8 and an entry-level model could use a 300 horsepower version of the 3.5-litre Toyota-sourced V-6 from the Evora.

To keep costs down it’s likely the new Esprit will likely share its chassis with the bonded and extruded aluminum unit developed for the Evora. Rising development costs and changing requirements, however, have reportedly pushed back the original 2010 release date to 2012. The extra time should allow for both coupe and convertible models, Lotus had originally planned to launch a hard-top only.

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