Displacement: 2,174 cc
Horsepower: 215 bhp @ 6,250 rpm
Engine Torque: 202 ft lb @ 5,000 rpm
Top Speed: 152 mph
0 - 60 mph: 5.7 seconds
click on image to enlarge
Founded by (Anthony) Colin (Bruce) Chapman in 1952 (his full initials, ACBC still appear on the Lotus badge to this day), Lotus has always produced some of the most exciting and innovative cars ever built. Their principle focus has always been the combination of a lightweight, aerodynamic body coupled with a highly-tuned, small displacement engine and a chassis with phenomenal handling.
Perhaps most famous for its sub-aquatic appearance alongside Roger Moore's James Bond, in The Spy Who Loved Me, the Lotus Esprit has long been somewhat (yet wholly undeservedly) overlooked, in the Pantheon of Supercars. Imbued with phenomenal performance, that could make some of Italy's finest blush and breathtaking styling that commands attention, it was initially shown as a concept vehicle, based on the Lotus Europa, at the Turin Motor Show in 1972. Styled by the legendary designer of the Maserati Ghibli and BMW M1 (amongst many others), Giorgetto Giugaro, it began production in 1976 and was a perfect example of Chapman's winning lightweight/aerodynamic/great handling formula. The stunning wedge-shaped design was produced until 1987 and is considered the most iconic iteration of the Esprit. The '86 & '87 cars benefitted from all the developments of the previous years' production, plus the adoption of the more powerful HC (High Compression) engine and are consequently, the very best of these most sought after, sharp-edged models.
This particular example is a long term California car with over $50,000 in receipts, including an engine rebuild by the local Southern California Lotus Specialist. Additional work included the fitting of a charge cooler from a later Esprit, thereby imbuing the car with even more power than stock. Finished in a very striking combination of yellow with a black interior, the body and paint are in very good condition. On the road, the car drives extremely well and is certainly the fastest Esprit we've owned. The steering and brakes are responsive and precise and the handling is everything a Lotus should be.
Less than 250 Turbo Esprits HCs were produced in 1986 and with very few coming on the market, this is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a very well cared for example of one of the best looking and underappreciated supercars, at a very reasonable price, before they too reach the unattainable heights of their peers.