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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering Lotus is at the mercy of other auto-manufacturers for engines, shouldn't Lotus make engine-development and production one of their long term goals (say 5 to 7 years) once profits from the Evora and updated Elise/Exige start to come in?

I'm also going on the basis that Lotus can make the engine as reliable Toyota (after working with Toyota-Yamaha plants for several years) and can bring in people knowledgeable in engine development. I understand cost is the major factor here.

The ability to design and product their own engines would allow Lotus a lot of flexibility in terms of size, configuration, and weight specifications which would have an overall effect on future models.
 

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I believe thier engineering branch does a lot of consulting work for other companies with engines (ie GM ecotec). I'm sure they've run the numbers but for low volume cars its tough to design and create your own engine from scratch
 

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I do not think engine development should be one of their 5-7 year goals. The Toyota / Yamaha engines are so reliable because of their design and the fault tolerances of their production lines are so good. I don't see Lotus getting this right from the ground up anytime soon. I think there are a plethora of engines on the market today that Lotus can make use of, and with the switch to battery/electric power, I think having chassis expertise is a better thing right now anyway.

Have you read much about Better Place? Driven: Shai Agassi's Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road

I think in the long term, if Lotus comes up with a chassis that can support multiple configurations (wait a sec, isn't that what the Evora chassis is?) they'll be in a better position than if they spend time working on engines. People are still going to want performance vehicles, whether they are gas-powered or not, and if something like Better Place takes off, Lotus should be able to take advantage of it, use other people's expertise in engines/motors/battery power and still deliver the Lotus driving experience, which today is about light weight and handling moreso than engine prowess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One other question. Is the Evora's engine the same as the Lexus IS 350?
 

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I consider the Toyota engine in the Elise as a major plus.

I don't think I'd consider buying an Elise otherwise.

Probably I'm in the minority though.
 

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One other question. Is the Evora's engine the same as the Lexus IS 350?
No, the Evora has the same motor as the Camery. The IS350 is the same base engine, but with direct injection. The IS350 engine is also 306hp.
 

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Nope, I think using pedestrian engines is Ideal for them. There is no way they can compete with toyota, honda etc on powertrain quality. They should remain focused on their primary objective driving joy and purity. Lotus is what it is because they have passion and focus, not neccisarily and better engineering resourses than the others.

Toyota could build a better elise than the elise if they wanted to with their vast resourses. They dont though.
 

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I consider the Toyota engine in the Elise as a major plus.

I don't think I'd consider buying an Elise otherwise.

Probably I'm in the minority though.
I am the same way. I am a Toyota person. Have owned Toyota all my life. I was surely a part of my decision to get the Elise.
 

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Lotus designs engines, they just don't build them. Starting a manufacturing facility is way too costly and risky. At as low a volume that Lotus cars are produced it wouldn't make financial sense.
Beat me to it! Agreed. With the sales numbers Lotus puts out yearly it would be absolutely ridiculous to produce or adapt a facility to make engines. They contract out this business simply because it's much cheaper and reliable.

I love the fact that the company I work for serves as a Tier 2 to Lotus. :wave:
 

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I spoke with Roger Becker a year ago regarding the same thing and he explained that in order to design and build a reliable engine which they can by the way, it would require roughly about $40M+ for testing and R&D and the fact they are such a low volume manufacturer, they'd never recoupe their money. It is more convenient and profitable for Lotus to do things the way the've been doing it which have brought much success. The only way I see Lotus making their own engines is if some other car manufacturer with big $$$ buy them out.
 

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...lotus already has plenty of powerplant design, research, and development expertise and initiatives in-house: it's production that they can't sustain as a low-volume manufacturer, the economies of scale rule it out anything close to affordable...

...take a look at TVR or the V8 esprit to get a decent idea of the repercussions of in-house motor production for lotus - ferrari only gets away with it by charging a lot more, at much greater production rates to boot...personally, i think an even closer long-term development synergy with a large-volume manufacturer like toyota would be ideal for lotus' needs...
 

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One other question. Is the Evora's engine the same as the Lexus IS 350?
...the 2GR-FSE used in the IS 350 is a fantastic motor (a ward's ten-best winner for four years running), but the block modifications it makes from the 2GR-FE used in the evora leave it unsuitable for transverse applications...

...it's a longitudinal-mount-only engine, unfortunately...
 

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Lotus has always differentiated themselves based on handling. Best to focus their modest (compared to other manufacturers) R&D on that.

Lotus-tuned [super reliable] Toyota powerplant is a definite plus. It's a good combination of former and current Formula-1 competitors' respective areas of expertise (Lotus - chassis, suspension, handling and Toyota - power).
 

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Keep in mind that Lotus has made their own engines in the past.

The Twink used in lots of race cars, the Elan and the later Europas was a Ford block with a lotus designed twin cam head.

The four cylinder engine used in the Esprit was designed and built by Lotus.

The V8 engine used in later Esprits was entirely Lotus.

All three engines had problems that were worked out, but it took time and money. When the volume is low, it's hard to do everything perfect - especially when cost has to be kept low.

On the other hand, Lotus has designed some very good engines. The Ecotec was mentioned above but don't forget the famous Corvette ZR-1 engine - yep a Lotus design (major modifications to GM's engine).
 

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How 'bout they work out the broken rocker issue in these engines first?
 

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I believe thier engineering branch does a lot of consulting work for other companies with engines (ie GM ecotec). I'm sure they've run the numbers but for low volume cars its tough to design and create your own engine from scratch
correct - infact lotus does lots of engine design, and combustion cycle research, and managment.

so for as being in the business of manufacturing these engines - no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
...the 2GR-FSE used in the IS 350 is a fantastic motor (a ward's ten-best winner for four years running), but the block modifications it makes from the 2GR-FE used in the evora leave it unsuitable for transverse applications...

...it's a longitudinal-mount-only engine, unfortunately...
Thank you. I vaguely remembered the issue (it's been a while for me). But that issue and some rumored engine sourcing for the new Espirit (which is also a bit vague for me) was what prompted to start this thread.

But I understand the main constraint is the ROI on limited models. It seems a bit risky to have to find a supplier for engines. I doubt Toyota will disappear in the next 50 years but they could always decide not to supply Lotus with engines. Finding a new supplier could be hair-raising. Incidentally, I remember reading Lotus initially approached Honda for an engine for the Elise but they said no.
 

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Keep in mind that Lotus has made their own engines in the past. The four cylinder engine used in the Esprit was designed and built by Lotus.

Lotus has designed some very good engines. The Ecotec was mentioned above but don't forget the famous Corvette ZR-1 engine - yep a Lotus design.
...all modern toyota multivalve engines are direct descendants of lotus' four cylinder motor used in early esprits, which was sold to toyota so they'd have a modern four-cylinder design...for this reason alone i'm rather fond of lotus' current relationship with toyota, and as mentioned above, toyota's design, manufacturing, reliability, and formula one program are even further plusses beyond that...
 
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