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Lotus Planning ‘R’ Performance Models With Turbo Power: Report

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Earlier this week we brought you the first details about Lotus’ new in-house developed V-8 engine, which is set to appear in the upcoming Esprit supercar as well as several other new models currently in development at the automaker’s Hethel facility in the UK. Here we divulged that the V-8 engine would displace 4.8-liters and be rated at 562 horsepower, and that its modular design may eventually spawn smaller four-cylinder and V-6 units.

Now there’s word that this engine may also receive a turbocharging system, lifting output as high as 612 horsepower for hardcore ‘R’ branded models.

The first firing of a prototype engine is expected to take place on August 18 of this year. The 90-degree V-8, which will have a redline in excess of 9,000 rpm, won’t appear in production trim until the Esprit supercar debuts in the spring of 2013, however, we may see the new powerplant feature in race car form prior to that--most likely in a Le Mans prototype.

As previously reported, the engine will weigh just 375-pounds and measure some 24-inches in overall length, making it more like a race engine. One of its key developers just so happens to be Wolf Zimmerman, an ex-AMG employee. 

In the Esprit, this engine will be matched to an automated single clutch transmission, not a dual clutch unit as rumored. However, its developers boast that it can work in conjunction with electric drive power.

Estimated performance in the new Lotus Esprit is a 0-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds, 0-124 mph in around 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph.

Importantly, pricing is expected to undercut that of its intended rivals, the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo and McLaren MP4-12C.

For more details, check out our previous report by clicking here.

[CAR]
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