Lotus Espirit
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Lotus
Model: Espirit
Lotus Espirit

Perhaps you have not seen a Lotus Esprit on the roadway, but you may have seen one driven by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman. Or perhaps, if romantic flicks are not your thing, you might have seen one driven by Roger Moore in the James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only. Anyhow, the Lotus Esprit was a sports car built by Lotus from 1976 to 2004. The Silver Italdesign concept that ultimately became the Esprit was showcased at the Turin motor show in 1972, and was a development of a stretched Lotus Europa chassis. It is believed to be among the first of designer Giorgetto Giugiaro's designs known as 'folded paper'. Originally, the name Kiwi was proposed, but in keeping with the E naming format of Lotus tradition, the name was thankfully changed to Esprit. Historically it was able to match or beat most of its contemporary rivals' performance in many areas, which included the Ferrari 308, the 328, the F355 and the 360 Modena. This also included being able to beat many Porsche sports cars that had production lives of nearly 30 years. These first Esprits eventually became known as S1 Esprits and the fiberglass bodied cars were at first powered by the Lotus 907 4 cylinder engine previously used in the Jensen Healey. The engine displaced 2.0 liters, produced 160 bhp in European trim, and was mounted longitudinally behind the passengers. The series 1 embodied Lotus' performance through lightweight mantra, weighing less than 1000 kg. A series of improvements made to the Esprit during its initial run culminated in the S2 Esprit. S2 Esprits used 14" Speedline alloy wheels designed specifically for Lotus. Other changes included moving the battery from above the right side fuel tank to the rear of the car, adding an access door to the engine cover and replacing the Veglia instrument cluster with individual gauges made by Smiths and a different style of switches.

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