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Racing,
I suspect a lot of factors, cost, availabilty, and just how interested would honda be in selling the car.

Also, FYI the honda conversion - Go to the SELOC site their've been a couple of threads on this particular honda conversion and the horsepower on the dynos at a SELOC rolling road apparently didn't come close to the claimed 240 hp.

Chris
 

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I thought that it was because a Lotus bigwig had an in with someone at Toyota, since they used to own 21% of Lotus.

I doubt that Honda would want to give their engine to Lotus, since the Elise probably will siphon off some sales from the S2000. For $40K, you can get an ordinary looking adequately performing S2000 or an exotic looking superbly handling Elise. No comparison in my book.
 

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I've pondered this question as well... My guesses are:

1. Honda wouldn't sell it to Lotus for a reasonable price, if at all. This could be due to the fact that the Elise is in direct competition with one of their cars or simply because Honda isn't keen on selling high performance engines to anyone.

2. Toyota and Lotus have had positive relations in the past, giving a Toyota-Lotus bond a one-up on anything else. (And, there's no real direct competitor for the Elise coming from Toyota - at least in the busines perspective).

3. The Toyota engine is actually lighter than the Honda K20 by a good amount. Lotus likes to say this is one of the main reasons for the engine choice, but I have my doubts.
 

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Plus Toyota may be getting cozy with Lotus so they can eye up Proton. Acquiring Proton would make Toyota an even larger auto OEM with a better position in a growing region of the world (SEA).

Toyota has now surpassed Ford as the #2 selling nameplate in the US. I'm sure they have their eyes set on world domination!;)
 

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RacingDynamcs said:
at this point toyota does not need lotus.
True. they don't need to OWN Lotus. However, when you look at what Lotus has (reportedly) managed to do to that motor to make it smoother and more powerful, you have to wonder if maybe Toyota DOES need Lotus' help with their powertrains (they currently get help from Yamaha, right?). I wonder if part of this engine deal is that Toyota gets to use whatever refinements Lotus makes to the powertrain?
 

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GM did own Lotus in the early 90s.

A few positive things came out of the GM ownership period. The build quality improved drastically on the Esprits.

As I recall, Artioli of the now defunct Bugatti (not to be confused with VW/Bugatti) bought Lotus from GM.

Chris
 

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That is true. GM owned Lotus for some time.

Toyota definately could benefit from owning Lotus. They offer no really cool products in the high end sports car market. Other than the Mr2, what cool cars do they have? Zip. Boring. They might as well sell appliances - I guess that's exactly what they do sell on 4 wheels. :D

More importantly, Toyota could use Proton. That is the real treasure for Toyota - not Lotus.
 

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GM also helped Lotus expand it's manufacturing of the 111 chassis by 3000 units annually, through the Opal/Vauxhall Speedster, without which the US cars might not be possible. Lotus has stated that they have learned much of the refinements that made the S2 possible from GM's Speedster project this also created greater quality control at the factory. Ah yes, GM/Toyota/Lotus the perfect partnership/monopoly of the futere car industry.;)
 

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Ok guys, don't get ahead of yourselves. Proton is not as weak as you might think. Their main inductry is not cars but oil. In fact, they are among the world's largest oil companies. Needless to say, they have no financial reason to dump Lotus. Additionally, they acquired Lotus to beef up the Proton Automotive line. Like Isuzu in the late 80's-early 90's, there have been "lotus tuned" Proton vehicles. Group Lotus is actually 2 parts the engineering side and the automotive production side. The engineering side is the valuable peice. The cars have historically lost money. With the US intro of the Elise, for the first time in awhile, Lotus (Cars) may find themselves in the black.

GM can't afford Lotus at the moment. In fact although Ford has dropped to 3rd in US sales, the fact is that they are healthier than GM is right now. GM still utilizes Lotus for engineering work including the Corvette, Saturn handling, Eco-tech engine, Caddy CTS-V, etc. Lotus also does work for Ford (Aston Martin Vanquish and Jaguar XJ-8 Aluminum Building technologies), Rover (including the sale of the 3.5 V8 for their use), and just about every other car company out there with the exception of the VW Group and Porsche. That reminds me, the Bugatti that owned Lotus from 93-98 is the same one that is now part of the VW Group (under the umbrella of Audi). Artoli was on the board of Lotus up to 2001 when he sold his remaining interest to Proton. Toyota has, since the 80's been a partner of Lotus in various ventures. Lotus used many Supra parts in the Excel during the 80's. You can even recongnize the tail lamps of the S4 Esprit and M100 Elan come from Toyota products. If it were possible, the Toyota senerio would be more plausable, but still unlikely due to the current market place. This isn't the mid 90's when all the independent companies were up for grabs.

Honda was likely unwilling to give up the V-Tec knowing that the Elise would steal S2200 sales. Further, if I remember correctly, the V-Tec is built in very limited numbers and therefore Honda may not have had the production capability to handle the extra quanities.
 

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R & T actually reported that Lotus had to beg Toyota several times to get the engine. Toyota being one of the most prominent car maker has nothing to gain from this deal. 5 million bucks is less than the amount they sell to one dealership a year.

I suspect this also true for Honda. Remember just because Lotus likes an engine doesn't mean they'll get it. Thus the reason why they went to Toyota was to take advantage of past relationships.
 

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The U.S. Elise, as it is, weighs in barely under 2,000 pounds. The Honda motor might have put it over the top.

I suspect Honda wouldn't want to help the Elise be even faster than the S2000 than it already is, but anything can be had for the right price. The problem is that Lotus wants to keep the price at or below $40k.

Honda is willing to provide engines for others. The Saturn Vue Redline series will have a Honda V-6. It's been said, though, that Honda will likely get GM diesel engines in return.

Toyota may have used to have part ownership of Lotus, but Honda has supplied engines to Lotus in the past, in the form of the Type 99T race car.

Wallabyguy says Lotus doesn't do work for VW. According to Automobile magazine, at the bottom of the VW Concept R's article, VW is working with Lotus on 2 other mid-engine projects.
 

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I don't have the automobile magazine article in front of me so I cannot comment on that. In the past VW and Porsche have relied on eachother for engineering assistance and have refrained from going outside their relationship. Porsche has a very good and established engineering department and thus has little need for Lotus. I do remember it being said that the VW concept was stated to be a competitor for Lotus' Elise. The consulting is new information and I will research such on the web.

The 99t had nothing to do with Group Lotus. Team Lotus seperated from Group Lotus when Colin Chapman Died in the early 80's. Clive Chapman, Colins son, took over operation and the Chapman family had total ownership. The Honda relationship with team lotus was limited to that area alone. Team Lotus' envolvement in F1 ended in the mid 90's and despite several attempts to revive it appears gone for good. Group Lotus now sponsers racing through Lotus Motorsport. Team Lotus still exists but only to preserve classic racing lotus.
 

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I did find it odd when I read about the VW/Lotus relationship considering that Porsche is around and that the Concept R might compete with the Elise.

Then again, the Concept R is supposed to compete with the Boxster, too: more power than the current Boxster S, mid-engine layout, but possibly with a convertible hard top and a sub-$30k price? I have my doubts, but VW has a few years to figure out the details. VW does have a rather large parts bin from which to borrow.

And what are these 2 other mid-engine projects to which the article is referring???
 

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Also, FYI the honda conversion - Go to the SELOC site their've been a couple of threads on this particular honda conversion and the horsepower on the dynos at a SELOC rolling road apparently didn't come close to the claimed 240 hp.
Chris, I don;t think the F20C used in the S2000 is the same engine used by SELOC. I believe they used a K20A like Prototype Racing is playing with. Granted very close but yeah 220bhp vice 240bhp but with equal torque.
 

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Dan,

My guess is that the other two mid engined vehicles are likely Bugatti and/or VW halo car and/ or Audi halo car. The Bugatti is about to enter production and the Audi and VW have been rumored and seen in show car form on several occasions over the past 4 years or so. Just guesses.
 
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