The Lotus Esprit Fact File – Model Information

23 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on The Lotus Esprit Fact File – Model Information

Lotus Esprit

Esprit V8 – Road Track #1

Question 10 enthusiasts about the most important quality in a high-performance sports car, and you will, of course, get 20 different answers. A high-revving multivalve engine. Turbocharged or supercharged.

With the engine in the middle. Precise steering. Big brakes. Big tires. Sleek. Balanced. Fun. And a low price would be nice. The Lotus twin-turbocharged Esprit will give you all of the above except the low price.

Elementary physics suggest that more power and less weight will make a car faster, all else like gears, tires and aerodynamics being equal. At less than four feet high, an Esprit is acceptably slick, the 285/35ZR-18s on the back have substantial grip, and gearing is fully appropriate. And even when saddled with the weight of luxury appointments, the Esprit just tops the 3000-lb mark.

Right behind the driver and ahead of the rear wheels, exactly where many would argue it should be for a sports car, is the engine. About the size of a 27-in. television, and under 500 lb fully dressed with starter, air conditioner and two water-cooled Garrett turbos, is a 3.5-liter 4-cam V-8.

Hooked to a twin-disc clutch and a 5-speed transaxle, and revved up to 6500 rpm, it generates 350 bhp and will fire the lightweight Lotus to 60 mph in under 4.5 sec, and to 100 mph before many cars reach half that speed. Terminal velocity is 175 mph, at which point you are happy to compromise rearward visibility with that big wings stability.

Lotus Esprit

Figures like this mandate superior handling, a Lotus hallmark from the companys inception. Coil sprung all around, the Esprit uses upper and lower control arms, an anti-roll bar, and rack-and-pinion steering up front, with trailing arms and lateral links in the rear. Though it will change direction and go round the bends at ridiculous speeds, it remains compliant enough to drive until the tank empties.

Very large Michelin Pilots clear very large Brembo vented discs and transmit all this energy to the pavement.

Despite its age, but given the occasional facelift, the Esprit looks distinctive. The angular edges, ear scoops behind the doors and deep chin spoiler are both aesthetic and effective. The interior provides a high degree of amenities including polished walnut, leather and an Alpine sound system.

Accommodations for two are provided, and those drivers over six feet will be firmly ensconced in the cabin.

The Lotus Esprit does not have the brute force of a Viper, nor the wail of a Ferrari V-12, but will put up a respectable showing against either. Whether you prefer the sophisticated finesse of the Colin Chapman racing heritage, or just want to put numbers on the side of it, a twin-turbo Esprit is a sports car of the first order.

Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit
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