Sadly, it’s not for a full blown racing endeavor (yet) but old friends, long time partners, and the nemeses of Grandee teams everywhere (I’m looking at you Maranello), Lotus and Cosworth are looking into making engines again.
What started as a shot heard round the world, literally, when the first Cosworth powered Lotus won its first time out (Zandvoort in 1968 at the hands of the great Jimmy Clark) look to be continuing. Sure, this time it will mainly be in street cars, and that’s a good, good thing. But when they uncorked it for racing, by the time they were done, the Cosworth DFV chalked up 12 world drivers’ championships and 10 F1 constructors’ titles. I can’t even start to count the over all race wins.
And now the firm started by Keith Duckworth, Mike Costin and forever linked with Lotus are at it again, and are now working on high-performance engines.
Specifically Cosworth will be giving the engines for the current-generation Lotus Elise, Exige and Evora a going over. At the moment, all three of those truly sublime cars are powered by Toyota-sourced engines. And wonderful plants those are, working in both a performance realm and a reliability realm (yeah, when was the last time I used the word “reliability” in conjunction with the word “Lotus”?).
But that doesn’t mean that good can’t be improved on, and now Cosworth will be uprating these engines for new Lotus road and race machines. First out of the bocks will be the new Evora Cup car, pictured here being shaken down by current Lotus Grand Prix driver Jarno Trulli. Looks nice in those traditional team colors, no?
As it currently stands at the pit wall, the GT4-class Evora is propelled by a 400-horsepower 4.0-liter version of Toyota’s V6 engine with dry-sump lubrication. How much more can be squeezed out of that mill is anybody’s guess, but it seems like there’s room for a lot more.
Imagine what higher power figures for a transcendent little lightweight like the Elise would be like. Imagine cutting loose on the ‘Ring with it? Or the PCH?
And isn’t Lotus working on a new Esprit? I wonder what Cossy with do with THAT?