LOTUS Esprit

Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


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LOTUS Esprit
LOTUS Esprit   1976 2004
1976 2004

When Lotus introduced the Esprit in 1976, it didn’t know that it will be the car that will cross the British brand into the new Millenium.
The Esprit was the car that changed the Lotus’ image forever. It was more than a sports-car. It was a new concept. Collin Chapman was not pleased at first, but after he saw a full-size scale model, he gave the OK, and the car was launched. Lotus built 10,675 Esprits until 2004 when the final unit rolled off the production line.

Giorgetto Giugiaro designed the car with the “folding paper” concept in mind and built it from fiber-glass. Thus, it resulted in a light, wedged-shaped bodywork with flat, wide surfaces and clear edges. Giugiaro carried over the pop-up headlights and taillights from the Fiat X1/9, which Bertone designed. Despite all the upgrades on the run, Lotus didn’t want to install fixed headlights and kept the original shape. While the first models featured horizontal, rectangular taillights, and side-mounted exhausts, the later versions featured round taillamps and center-mounted pipes.

Inside, Giugiaro made the instrument cluster around the driver, with tilted sides. It was inspired by the commands of a fighter plane. The flat and low-mounted dashboard didn’t feature a center stack. Between the sport bucket-seats with high bolstering, Lotus installed a tall center console with a storage compartment.

Lotus made the mid-engine sports car with a small, four-cylinder unit paired to a five-speed manual gearbox. Later on, it added various other engines, including a few turbocharged options or a V8.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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