its five-model turnaround plan is fixed. The new engine can be funded only if savings are found elsewhere. "We wouldn't ask for more money from our investors, and we certainly wouldn't get it."
"Ycu need an exciting powerplant or you're nowhere," adds chief technical officer Wolf Zimmermann, rerently recruited from Mercedes-AMG. "If you want to compete in the premier league, against the Ferrari 458 or McLaren MP4-12C, this 5.0-liter supercharged engine is too heavy and too big." If the program gets the nod, Zimmermann says, Lotus will probably do a modular V-8/V-6 that would serve the mid-engine V-8 Esprit, front-engine V-8 Elite and Eterne, and mid-engine V-6 Elan. ■ paul horrell
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