We’ve known for some time that Lotus was working on a new V-8 engine for its upcoming Esprit supercar, even word that the automaker was pulling funding from other projects to ensure that both the new engine and the supercars that it will eventually power are truly world class.

Now the first specs for the future engine have been revealed, including news that its ‘modular’ design may spawn a smaller four-cylinder unit.

The V-8 version of the engine will reportedly develop a peak output of 562 horsepower and displace 4.8-liters. As mentioned, it will first appear in the Esprit supercar due on the market in the spring of 2013, where it will sit in a mid-engine position.

After the Esprit, it will feature in the front mid-engine Lotus Elite grand-tourer due towards the end of 2013.

Lotus Omnivore engine concept monoblock

Lotus Omnivore engine concept monoblock

The four-cylinder version of the engine, which may feature a radical V-4 configuration, though most likely will be a straight-four design, will displace 2.4-liters and be used initially in the next-generation Lotus Elise due in 2015.

Lotus, whose engineering division designs and manufacturers engines for rival automakers such as the Omnivore pictured above, was prompted to develop its own engine due to the responses of prospective buyers who said they would prefer something unique and bespoke powering their new supercars. Lotus had originally planned to source a 5.0-liter V-8 unit from its exiting engine supplier Toyota.  

The engine itself will be relatively small, measuring in at just 24 inches in length and weighing in at some 375 pounds. In the Esprit, the engine will help form part of the overall structure of the car and its maximum power will come in somewhere around the 9,000 rpm mark. The first prototype units are expected to be fired up this August.

In related news, Lotus has said it remains committed to launching a production version of its Ethos minicar concept as well as the Elan sports car, whose arrival has been pushed back to 2017. Additionally, the automaker has opened a new 2.3 mile test track near its headquarters in Hethel, UK that’s capable of holding race meetings.