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LOTUS ESPRIT CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > LOTUS ESPRIT

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LOTUS ESPRIT (1975-) CAR HISTORY

Car review on LOTUS ESPRIT

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus, always said that he built the cars he wanted to own, which explained why, as he grew older, his designs matured into ever more sophisticated realms. By the early 1970s, the days of stark Lotus 7s sold in kit form were gone and a new era was dawning.


Chapman was extremely impressed by a mid-engine prototype, which Giorgetto Giugiaro had created for Lotus in 1972. This was the car that, with remarkably little modification, became the new LOTUS ESPRIT, first shown in October 1975.
In construction, the Esprit was classically Lotus, having a steel-backbone chassis, all-independent suspension and a glassfibre body. As launched it had Lotus's brilliant 2.0-litre 16-valve four-cylinder engine mounted amidships. This not only provided convincing performance for its day, but produced probably the best handling Lotus yet. The five speed gearbox was taken directly from the Citroen SM.


As it transpired, Giugiaro’s clean-cut and simple shape would stand the test of time with honors. The interesting interior architecture was perhaps less appealing over the longer term but, for its day, the Esprit was a state of the art mid-engine sports car.
Lotus kept abreast of the opposition’s advances with constant developments. An S2 version with an integrated front spoiler appeared in 1978, and the S2.2 with an expanded 2.2 liter engine in 1980, the same year the spectacular Esprit Turbo was launched. The 2.2 liter Turbo engine developed 210 bhp, enough to force a much stiffer chassis with larger wheels and brakes and revised suspension, creating a peerless car in handling terms. The S3 of 1981 incorporated most of the Turbo chassis refinements and added a wraparound front bumper.


In this form the Esprit continued until 1987, when Lotus's in-house designer, Peter Stevens, effected a brilliant restyle of the bodywork, creating smoothed-off and more aerodynamic lines. At the same time, the chassis was stiffened and the gearbox switched to Renault's GTA. The popular Turbo survived in even more powerful guise, boasting up to 264bhp.
There was another restyle in 1993, when the nose and rear wing were reshaped, the interior was improved and power steering standardized. Two new models were launched: the S4S and the Sport 300 with its 302bhp engine (still from just 2.2 liters and four cylinders).


By 1996, the Esprit was 21 years old and still going strong, but it desperately needed some extra urge to compete with the best from Ferrari. Lotus developed a brand-new V-eight engine for the purpose, twin-turbocharged to produce a massive 349bhp. Fitted with a six-speed gearbox, the new Esprit V8 was a formidable performer, and looked set to continue to uphold the Lotus tradition for many years yet.



LOTUS ESPRIT (1975-)

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

4/V-eight-cylinder

CAPACITY

1973-3179 cc

POWER

160-349 bhp

TRANSMISSION

5/6-speed

TOP SPEED

130-170 mph (209-274 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

9,150 (to end of 1996)

 

 

 

 

 

 
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LOTUS ESPRIT CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > LOTUS ESPRIT


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Shopping Mall :LOTUS ESPRIT Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: LOTUS ESPRIT Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: LOTUS ESPRIT Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: LOTUS ESPRIT Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check