1997 Lotus Esprit V-8 & Elise |MotorWeek

24 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 1997 Lotus Esprit V-8 & Elise |MotorWeek

Lotus Esprit

Road Tests

1997 Esprit V-8 Elise

We#8217;ve been big fans of the sports from Lotus, especially the And despite the company#8217;s front upheavals in recent years, engineers never lost focus, giving the Esprit updates to keep it on par with its competitors. Naturally, we jumped at the to try out this new Esprit V-8.

But you can our surprise when we also handed a set of keys to this the Elise Roadster. Now it#8217;s out in Europe, and not even available in the U.S. but for us, this double was more than double the

The Esprit name has carried suffixes over the years#8230; S2, SE, and to name a few, and all signified a forward in style or performance. But for Lotus has added the most suffix yet#8230; V-8.

one symbol marks the pinnacle of the evolutionary journey, finally a worthy engine to its already chassis. The all-new 3.5-liter, V-8 spins out 350 horsepower, 23 percent than before, and 295 pound-feet of Yet the V-8 takes up little more than last year#8217;s and weighs just 485 pounds, dressed.

By now, the shape of the is familiar to any enthusiast. The original wedge styling has been over its 22-year life but remains one of the most elegantly designs on the road today.

Unfortunately, the inside has not aged as No amount of leather and wood can the #8216;70s-vintage modular design and ergonomics.

But the V-8 Esprit is not all that#8217;s new at And after our first look at Elise roadster, we understand why has had their priorities split. little buggy is perhaps the notable result of Lotus#8217; by Romano Artioli and Bugatti, as it was he who set the from the start; to create a new which reflected the genius of Chapman, and to make it light, and fast.

And whatever his failings as a the mad Italian certainly got that The Elise is as simple as a wind-up and as remarkable a display of technology as seen.

The extruded aluminum spaceframe is together with epoxy for an strong structure that a mere 143 pounds. The complete car in at a skimpy 1,488 pounds. is hardly taxing for the Elise#8217;s Rover 4-cylinder. Power is 118, with good end punch and a willingness to rev to the heavens. it all is a lightweight composite clam body.

The styling harkens to early British sports but is thoroughly modern, too.

you will find the definition of Sliding through the half-door and into the seat is an exercise in since you sit literally on the floor. The gauge cluster is a nice mix of and digital, while the other have been limited to the basics.

Its appeal is hard to describe, to say this is what the Mazda dreams it could be.

What we about, though, is hot laps on a track. In this case, the roller coaster known as Atlanta.

Adding a V-8 to the Esprit the chassis to work up to its potential. The torque of four more helps in exiting corners, but the must be modulated to avoid the of turbo boost that can the car#8217;s balance.

Lotus Esprit

The Esprit has been a car to drive gently. a true thoroughbred, it expects a hand on the reins to coax the out of it. And thanks to the V-8, there#8217;s to give.

0 to 60 sprints have dropped to 4.5 while top speed has risen to

Shifting action is improved to a revised transaxle and new Valeo clutch. While the ABS system has a complete overhaul. Pricing was by about $5,000, up to $81,620.

At the end of the fun spectrum lies the tiny Demanding nothing of the driver but and a strong right foot, is no mid-engined car that is easier to fast.

Remember your motorcycle ride? Your bungee jump? Or maybe first ride in a power That same feeling of is what you get behind the wheel of the

Turn-in is go-kart quick, a neutral balance, and a surprisingly suspension. The high power-to-weight makes this car an ideal track performer.

Lotus like to sell the car in the U.S. but is not they can pass the bumper and roadblocks. For now, we#8217;ll our love affair with the V-8, and enjoy the memory of our with Elise.

Vital

Engine: Slp-modified Lt-1 V-8

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