Someone Swapped a Mercedes V-12 Engine...
...Into the Back of This Lotus Esprit
May 2020 by Brian Silvestro for www.msn.com
We love a good engine swap here at Road & Track, and this late-Eighties Lotus Esprit certainly fits the bill. It's had its original inline-four swapped out for an Mercedes-built 6.0-liter M120 V-12 engine, and we can't get enough of it.
Built over the course of several years by YouTuber LotusRoss with the support of Nav Mechanical and DIY Autotune, the car looks fairly stock from the outside. The only visible mods are some aftermarket wheels and a Wilwood big brake setup, which includes 12-inch rotors, four-piston calipers, and a new master cylinder. The car is partially stripped inside, with a digital race dash, an OMP wheel, and two racing bucket seats.
Behind the cabin sits a massive lump of a motor that takes up the entire rear section, save for a small luggage space over the bumper. The builder says it didn't take much to get the engine to fit—it was fitting the Ferrari F355-sourced manual transaxle to mount up that took the most chassis modifications. The engine uses coils from a Chevy LS1 V-8, and dual 75-millimeter throttle bodies. Unsurprisingly, it sounds fantastic on the move:
A Mercedes V-12 isn't the first engine we'd think of dropping in a mid-engine Lotus, but we're glad someone did it. Engine swaps make the world go around, after all.