An Esprit makes sense based on performance and price, but it falls short on craftsmanship and materials
Although the wedge-shaped Lotus Esprit has been around long enough to be something of a 1970s retro car, it has gone through significant changes since it first appeared in 1976. To most people the Esprit conjures up exciting scenes from the 1977 James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me,” where Roger Moore escaped dangerous moments thanks to Q’s outfitting of his Esprit. Most memorable was when the Esprit turned into a submarine and dived to the bottom of the sea, surely a one-way trip with Lucas electrics.
This pristine example may not be able to excite that kind of theatrical performance, but it does perform on the road. The 2001 Lotus Esprit coupe comes equipped with well-proven mechanical roots that have continually been improved. The revamped composite plastic body dates back to 1987 on this still-contemporary supercar.
A completely redesigned, luxurious leather interior was fitted in 1998 and has been continually upgraded since then. The 3.5-liter, all-aluminum DOHC, 32-valve, twin-turbo V8 engine with an intercooler was new in 1997 and produces a healthy 354 bhp to ensure that no Ferrari or Lamborghini will blow by you. And, with 295 ft-lbs of torque at 4,250 rpm, it has plenty of grunt.
The steering and handling have been described as a “perfect match” for the built-in supercar performance. At the same time, this is a driver’s car with razor-sharp steering and abundant grip.
The example we have the pleasure of offering here is finished in a rare and attractive Caribbean blue and beautifully complemented by a Magnolia interior. It was purchased new by the current owner and has been very well maintained. Showing approximately 30,000 miles on the odometer, the lady owner reports that most of the driving was almost exclusively highway miles between Palm Springs and Los Angeles. Overall, the Lotus remains in excellent condition and needs nothing.
With a top speed of 175 mph, a 0 to 60 time of 4.6 seconds, and an average of 21 mpg, this Lotus Esprit Turbo is a true supercar.