New Abarth Sports Car Signals Lotus Elise Platform OD
Autocar UK reports that Fiat's performance brand Abarth is developing a mid-engined sports car. The restyled next gen Lotus Elise will feature a next gen Fiat turbo-charged, direct-injection, air-valve four-cylinder engine with 240hp. So, where are we? Lotus makes several Elise variants, from the Exige (racer) to the Europa (chiropractor's best friend). The Elise also underpins Rinnspeed's sQuba, Tesla's Roadster and Vauxhall/Opel's VX220/Speedster. Meanwhile, Lotus is delaying the release of a new Esprit. Does this mean Hethel's shortchanging its own models to work on its 340 development projects for 147 clients? Hey, you can't argue with $4m profit– especially after years of losses. And with a zingy Italian engine, the Elise-based sportster could ascend from the perfect to the sublime. You know; if you can get in.
I'd certainly love to see an Italian engine in a Lotus rather than a Toyota engine.
What's an air-valve? Did a search but all it brings up it stuff about this Lotus. Is it PVC related or something else? Pretty cool looking car for an anime.
'Air-valve' refers to Fiat's forthcoming Multiair valve actuation technology, which does away with the inlet cam in favour of a hydraulic system, using individually-controllable solenoids, to actuate the valves. These are quite old articles - and Fiat has delayed the launch by skipping the Uniair stage to go straight to a Multiair production launch - but the basic premise is correct: http://www.italiaspeed.com/2004/cars/alfa_romeo/09/uniair/1109.html http://www.italiaspeed.com/2005/cars/other/technology/02/05_02.html Fiat engines set to receive the technology include the new 0.9 twin-cylinder (Topolino/500/next Panda), naturally aspirated 1.4 FIRE (Grande Punto, MiTo) and, later, the 1.4 and 1.8 T-Jets. The latter is what Autocar are referring to.