The Lotus Esprit was unveiled as a clay bodied concept at the Turin motor show in November 1972. But it wasn’t until four years later, in 1976, that the first customer cars were delivered. This little car became an icon of film , track and road and still remains Britain’s most super looking, super car. Here is a pictorial guide to the Esprit family, from the humble S1 all the way through to the latest 205mph v8 Esprit, perhaps due to come out of the factory any day now! I am a huge Lotus enthusiast and have owned 6 of these fantastic cars, from a 1972 Europa, through a 1998 Esprit V8 Twin Turbo, all the way to a 2003 Exige, so I hope you enjoy reading this article, as much as I did writing it.
Lotus Esprit S1
The S1 was based on the old Europa chassis and was produced from 1975 to 1978 during which time only 894 were produced. As most of these cars were sold overseas, this a very rare car to find in the UK indeed. The S1, made famous in the James Bond film ” The Spy Who Loved Me” had 160bhp, a 0-60mph figure of 8.6 seconds and a top end of 124mph.