Displacement: 2,174 cc
Horsepower: 264 bhp @ 6,500 rpm
Engine Torque: 261 ft lb @ 3,900 rpm
Top Speed: 165 mph
0 - 60 mph: 4.8 seconds
click on image to enlarge
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 styling that turns heads wherever it goes, 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. Outwardly, it continued relatively unchanged until the body styling was refreshed in 1987 by McLaren F1 designer, Peter Stevens and then again for its final restyle, in 1993, with the introduction of the Esprit S4, penned by Julian Thompson, which ran until Esprit production ultimately ceased, in 2004. Mechanically however, the Esprit was constantly evolving, with more power and drivability, culminating in the S4, making it the most well sorted and reliable iteration of the four-cylinder car.
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 body and chassis coupled with a highly tuned, small displacement engine and an aerodynamic body and the Esprit is a perfect illustration of this winning formula.
This gorgeous example, finished in its striking combination of Black with black leather, has led a very pampered life, here in Southern California, with just three owners and 49,000 miles from new. Fit and finish are excellent throughout and the rear exhaust silencer and valance have been upgraded to the twin tailpipe version from the Esprit V8.
Only 625 S4 Esprits were built, with very few coming on the market, making this an exceptional opportunity to acquire a superb example of a true supercar for the price of a minivan.