|One of the simplest but most attractive of all the “wedge” cars of the 1970s is the original Lotus Esprit, and the second series Turbo manages to refine the basic shape while adding a healthy dose of performance. Much more than simply the addition of a turbocharger to the 2.2-liter Lotus Type 912 four-cylinder motor, the Esprit Turbo actually represents an official redesign, conducted by original designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, that includes such revisions as new facias front and rear, larger side skirts, and the side-mounted NACA ducts to provide cooling air to the engine. Under the skin, an entirely new Y-frame chassis not only increases structural rigidity, it is also designed to accommodate the V8 engine that wouldn’t debut for another 16 years—a forward-looking move on the part of Lotus. Handling is what you’d expect from a Lotus—extremely competent and entirely unflustered by mid-course corrections—and power improves to 205 horsepower, a respectable figure for the time. And in case anyone could possibly mistake what they’re looking at when this Lotus roars by, appropriately period graphics unambiguously proclaim to onlookers “TURBO ESPRIT.” Subtle, it’s not.|
The 1980 Esprit Turbo was introduced as the top-of-the-line model for the second generation Esprit from 1978 to 1981. Since then, each successive generation has offered a turbocharged model within its lineup.
The 1980 Esprit Turbo is based on a light MR-layout platform that weighs 2710 lbs (1229 kg). It has a 2.2 litre turbocharged inline-four engine with mechanical fuel injection, but only delivers 205 hp and 194 lb/ft of torque, making it somewhat slow for modern standards. Its drivetrain is mated to a 5-speed transmission, which allows the car to reach a stock top speed of 147 mph (237 km/h).
|Conversion - Engine|
|3.6 L I6 (Lotus Carlton)|
3.5 L V6 (Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racecar
- According to Forza Motorsport 4's benchmark feature, the Esprit Turbo can go from 60 to 100 mph in 12,9 seconds.
|1960s||Cortina · Type 49|
|1970s||#7 77 · Elan Sprint · Esprit S1 JB|
|1990s||Carlton · Elise GT1 · Elise Series 1 Sport 190|
|2000s||2-Eleven · 340R · Elise 111S · Elise 135R · Esprit V8 · Evora · Evora Type 124 Endurance Race Car · Exige Cup 240|
|2010s||3-Eleven · E21 · E23 · Evora S · Exige S|