Lotus, one of the most iconic British sports car manufacturers, might make a major change in the future: ditching Toyota engines.
Speaking to British magazine Autocar, Lotus's Jean-Marc Gales wants to make the switch to a different powertrain supplier after having used Toyota's engines to motivate their models like the Exige, Elise, and Evora. The reason is not so much a matter of performance given that Lotus uses their tuning abilities to get more performance out of Toyota's engines by using upgrades like superchargers and the like; instead the reason is to keep it in the Geely family.
In the last couple of years, Chinese automaker Geely has been making some major acquisitions in the auto industry, purchasing majority stakes in companies like Volvo in 2010 from Ford, and more recently Lotus in 2017 from Proton.
Now that Lotus and Volvo belong in the same corporate family headed by Geely, pundits had expected a lot of sharing between the companies particularly with platforms and technology, much in the same way that the brands under the Volkswagen group share technologies. Nearly two months ago, the same publication published a report that Lotus was considering a Porsche Macan rival by using a Volvo platform with handling and performance by Lotus.
Volvo's engine line up is interesting; they have 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder motors. While these engines feature turbos, Lotus sports cars are more commonly associated with superchargers for better control. Also, Volvo has hybrid powertrains under the “Twin Engine” moniker; will we see a hybrid Lotus in the future?
Whether they will alter the powertrains for superchargers or stay turbocharged is unclear, but the Lotus boss is said to be keen on making the switch to Volvo engines in the future. Until then, Lotus will continue using the 1.8-liter straight-4 and 3.5-liter V6 motors from Toyota.
Source: AutoCar UK