2021 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction
1985 Lotus Esprit Turbo Coupe
|Engine||2.2 litre turbocharged four-cylinder|
This lot is no longer available
The Esprit was Colin Chapman’s first serious attempt at building a supercar capable of taking on the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. First unveiled as a concept car at the Turin Motor Show in 1972 with radical wedge-shaped styling by the talented Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, it would be another four years before the first customers took delivery due to an extended period of development. The Esprit received a considerable publicity boost thank to the 1977 James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me”, with Roger Moore famously driving under water in one. Although it looked every inch the futuristic Italian-styled supercar, both inside and out, the Esprit remained true to Lotus’ philosophy of building lightweight cars with small-capacity engines and handling inspired by the racetrack. The turbo version was first seen in 1980's 'Essex Esprit', a special edition model named for its association with Essex petroleum, a major sponsor of the Lotus F1 team at the time. Its engine, known as the Type 910, retained the 2.2-litre capacity of the naturally aspirated car but utilised a dry sump and generated some 157kW. Mechanically, the Esprit Turbo saw a Renault five-speed transaxle take the place of the long-serving Citroen-Maserati gearbox. Only a handful of the many Esprit models were delivered to Australia, making this an exceptionally scarce and surprisingly affordable supercar today.