The new Lotus Eagle is set to use a 3.5-litre V6 from an American-spec Toyota, CAR has learned. Our spies have spotted the 2+2 coupe cold-weather testing ahead of its debut at the London Motor Show in July 2008 – and a registration check shows this prototype runs a 3458cc engine.
We know Lotus will use a Toyota engine (as it does on the Elise), so this V6 is almost certainly the same motor that powers a number of Toyota products across the Pond. In the Camry the 24-valve V6, which has variable valve timing, produces 262bhp at 6200rpm and 248lb ft at 4700rpm. Don’t expect those figures to change much in the production Eagle.
The engine passes through American emissions legislation, which is crucial for Lotus to sell the Eagle Stateside. Whether the Hethel-based manufacturer will compromise and also offer the Eagle with the Camry’s six-speed auto ‘box remains to be seen.
The Eagle's styling looks a bit strange…
Ignore the jutting extremities, for that is mere disguise. Our first shot of the Eagle showed the 2+2’s real swooping bodywork. Quite how the curvy roofline will allow the Eagle to accommodate four is befuddling us though. Lotus boss Mike Kimberley has told CAR that the rear seats accommodate children up to nine years old.
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So how much for the Eagle?
Expect to pay £45,000. The Eagle is the first properly new Lotus in 13 years, and will showcase the firm’s new versatile vehicle architecture. The same basic system, which has set hardpoints for the four corners of the car but can be extended vertically and horizontally between them, will also underpin the 2010 Lotus Esprit replacement.
Production is expected to be underway at Lotus’s Norfolk factory by October 2008, with first deliveries coming towards the end of 2008.