Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Tail of the Dragon
Thanks. Here is the text-
Elise turns to Toyota
Engine exchange. Lotus dumps K-series in favour of Celica T-Sport unit.
Front end will require a redesign to meet US crash regs
VX220 Turbo rear wheels to fit five stud Celeica driveshaft.
189bhp Toyota engine replaces ageing 120bhp K-series.
Twin central exhausts exit below rear diffuser line.
S2 mule was snapped testing at Hethel earlier this month; the new-engined car could arrive in Europe in 2005.
The Lotus Elise is ditching it's K-series engine after eight years, in favour of Japanese power. This S2 mule spied lapping the Hethel test track confirms the change, which has been propmted by the Norfolk maker's ambitions to return to the USA. The MG Rover K-series will not meet stringent emissions requirements there.
Instead, Lotus is set to the Toyota Celica VVY-i T-Sport's VVT-i 189bhp 1.8, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The extra power could signal a 0-60mph dash in under 5.0 seconds and top speed well in excess of the current car's 124mph.
American dealers are already taking deposits for April '04 delivery. "We are confident that the Elise will enjoy the same success in the USA market as in other markets," says Lotus Cars USA chief executive Arnie Johnson.
Toyota-powered cars are unlikely to arrive in Europe until the '05 model year, when the Elise willl split into two versions - US and Euro - to avoid alienating the purist buyers with the toys necessary for the US market. The Federal car will retain bonded chassis construction, but will need restyling to fit new crash structures, and side impact protection to meet US regulations.
Lotus as laid the foundations for the Federal Elise with the European '04 model year car, launched this month. It consists of both Elise and 111, with an optional X paclk for Elise which which offers central locking, electric windows, sound insulation, CD, leather and carpets - adding an extra 100kg. The car remains visually and mechanically unchanged.
LOTUS MODELS ON THE WAY
Arnie Johnson, chief exec of Lotus cars USA, also hints are further Lotis cars in the pipeline.
"Over the next few years, we anticipate further expnasion and growth with new models to follow for the US." he says. Insiders have refused to rule out a return for the Exige in S2 form; and rumours continue of a Boxster rival in the vein of the stillborn M250 concept with mid-mounted V6 power and a circa-40k pound price tag. A replacement for the Esprit is still in the sketch stage, which means the Lotus V8 is unlikely to return before late 2006.
#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7
Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com
There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.
2005 Lotus Elise, 1993 MR2, 1995 MR2, 125cc Shifter Kart, Toniq (in build), 2018 Origin 7 (waiting), 2018 Origin Noble M (waiting)