The Model - If Giorgetto Giugiaro had his way back in the mid-1970's the new Lotus introduced in 1976 would have been called the Kiwi. He had created a masterpiece in the tradition of his polygonal "folded-paper" designs. In 1993, Julian Thomson did some needed updates that included a smaller spoiler, revised front and rear designs, side skirts and valance panels. While the 4-cylinder engines had proven plenty potent, for 1996, the Esprit V8 was released and the rest was history. Developing their own Type 918 V8 all-aluminum engine, it featured a flat-plane crankshaft and dual Garrett T25/60 Turbochargers. Derek Bell was called upon to develop a stronger transaxle and a legend was born. Extensive use of carbon-fiber helped lighten the car and added to its overall look. O-to-60 times were around 4.3 seconds and that was with the engine detuned at the factory. With a little adjusting, HP output could be raised to 500, but that was said to be a bit too tough on the transaxle.
The Car - For 1999, just 123 of the V8 Turbo Esprits were produced with all but 10 of them coming to the USA. This excellent example finished in Chrome Yellow and fitted with its original tan leathers, has been treated to an exhaustive mechanical rebuild ensuring top performance just as it had been designed to deliver. All connecting rod bearings were replaced and an upgraded head-stud kit was installed to allow re-use if needed. Heads were checked and found to be at factory specs as were the cylinder liners which showed virtually no wear. A new twin-disc clutch described as OEM equivalent was installed while the pressure plate and flywheel were found to be nearly perfect. New belts were installed, the starter rebuilt, while new coolant level and oil pressure sensor switches were also installed. No detail was overlooked including a refurbish of the Saturn V8 wheels. Stunning in its appearance, breath-taking in its performance, this is simply the most awesome Lotus one can aspire to own.