The PlanClick for early "fag
          packet" plans

Here's the deal... anyone who know's anything about the history of the Lotus Esprit, knows that it has always had room for a V8

I'd always planned to bring true multi-cylinder performance to the Esprit even before I owned one - but messy conversions upset the handling and weren't based on a Lotus designed engine, in the spirit of the original Project M71

Click the image on the right for my original sketched plans from 2001

Some have gone the simpler route of using the Rover 3.5 unit - but a cross plane push rod American engine is just NOT what you need to compete with Italian exotics! Click here for some examples

The Lotus twin turbo 918 V8, on the left, was announced in
the late 90s the new though
So, why not take this engine, which was specifically designed for the Esprit chassis...

....and fit it to a Giugiaro Turbo Esprit!

While doing this, there is the opportunity to carry out some extensive engine tuning, including higher boost pressures and the fitting of twin chargecoolers, which will endow the Giugiaro Esprit with 500+ bhp!!

Sounds like a plan to use my Esprit as the basis of the realisation of the goal of the original Lotus Project M71... and put a Giugiaro Esprit at the top of the performance list for the marque once again

There is an easy 500 bhp in the Lotus 918 V8 engine... 3.5 litres normally aspirated would give you 350 bhp with a workman-like 100 bhp per litre output

With twin turbos much greater outputs are easily available and with high boost and intercooling (chargecooling) probably double the Renault gearbox limit would be achievable (sounds nice for track days!)

More under Engine button in the Mechanics Section

The problem here (and for current production Esprit V8's) is the gearbox/transaxle - the Citroen unit in the Giugiaro Turbo Esprit was replaced with a Renault unit in 1988 and this was improved
to handle more torque and power by the time the Esprit V8 arrived

...but the V8 Esprit was always limited to 350 bhp by Lotus, as the Renault gearbox simply cannot accept much more power/torque than this, without  destroying itself - more under Gearbox button in the Mechanics Section

So, fit the new Lotus V8 engine into my Giugiaro Esprit from 1984?

The Esprit has changed cosmetically somewhat over the years but the basic design of the GRP body mated over a galvanised steel backbone chassis has remained unchanged -
check the Model Changes

the 80's Turbo Esprit chassis has an engine cradle almost identical to that of the current V8 car -
Chassis button in the Mechanics Section

So fitting the new engine in the old chassis could work - but what about taking advantage of all the other improvements that have been made to the suspension, brakes, wheels etc. by using a new V8 chassis...

So this IS the plan...

Build a rolling chassis, using all current Lotus V8 parts (as above at the factory), to tune the engine to 500 bhp+

Then mate it to the chassis  (as in the picture below - not my car - for info at this stage!) and then transfer my restored Giugiaro shell onto, what will be, all completely new mechanical elements of the car!

On the right a Lotus 909 V8 engine being installed into its rolling chassis, ready  to be clothed with the body behind 

The body shell on the left is an early Peter Stevens design, which should have virtually the same dimensions for the alignment to the chassis as a Giugiaro shell

As the Progress Section shows, a V8 chassis was aquired quite early in the project and its measurements were compared to that of the Giugiaro Turbo Esprit and found to be approximately the same - so the transplant should be possible

The final test of this, of course, will be when I actually attempt it...

Click here for more on the Giugiaro Turbo Esprit design and specifications
Click here for production of the 
Giugiaro Turbo Esprit at the Lotus factory