2002 Lotus EspritV8 25th Anniversary Edition
Year of manufacture2002
- Offered from The Rey Collection
- Number 55 of 100 25th Anniversary Edition Espirits produced for the US market
- 350-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged Lotus 918 V-8 engine; five-speed manual transmission
- Finished in striking Solar Yellow over a black interior
- A well-preserved, modestly driven, and unmodified example
- Accompanied by original window sticker, service invoices, and owner’s manual
When the Lotus Esprit entered production in 1976, its dramatic wedge shape—draped in Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned “folded paper” styling—was a radical departure from the quirky Europa that it replaced, giving the British sportscar manufacturer a welcome exotic edge. The Esprit proved so successful and popular that it was still in production over two decades after its introduction, though it benefitted from numerous styling and engineering enhancements over the years.
To commemorate a quarter-century of the Esprit, Lotus revealed a limited 25th Anniversary Edition model for the 2002 model year. Just 100 of these special cars were slated for sale in the United States market, with a further 58 sold elsewhere in the world. Among the final Esprits constructed, these 25th Anniversary Edition cars received all the model’s many refinements. Notably, while the original Giugiaro wedge proportions were maintained, the Esprit now wore up-to-date styling by Julian Thomson (which still incorporated the Esprit’s signature pop-up headlamps).
Poster-car looks were backed by truly impressive performance. Mounted behind the driver in a midship position was a Lotus-developed Type 918 twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-8 engine—a motor that, with an output of 350 horsepower, answered any concerns drivers may have had about the comparatively underpowered early Esprits. This was mated to a five-speed manual transaxle; in skilled hands, a 4.4-second 0 to 60 mph sprint was achievable, along with a 175-mph top speed. In typical Lotus fashion, this was a car that punched well above its weight.
This Esprit, serial number 055 of the 100 25th Anniversary Edition cars sold in the US, is finished in a striking Solar Yellow over a black interior. Maintained in stock configuration, it appears very much as it did when delivered to its first owner via Star Motor Cars of Houston, Texas, complete with staggered Lotus wheels (17-inch front and 18-inch rear) wheels at each corner.
The car has been enjoyed carefully and seen regular, though modest, use throughout the years, and its odometer displays only 33,004 miles at the time of cataloguing. Invoices on file from new attest to the high level of care from which this car has benefited, with its series of owners addressing everything from cosmetic concerns to regular service. Notably, in 2010, the Lotus received substantial engine work completed by import car specialists Kauth & Mayuer of Peoria, Illinois. The shop has continued to maintain the car since, including further engine work in 2017 and, more recently, coolant system repairs, brake fluid service, an oil change, and the replacement of the headlamp rings and roof antenna completed in August 2020.
This well-maintained 25th Anniversary Edition Lotus is both a celebration of one of the British sports car marque’s greatest models and a highly appealing—and collectable—modern performance machine in its own right. Accompanied by its original window sticker, service invoices, and owner’s manual, here is an enticing opportunity for a new owner ready to experience a true sports car as only Lotus can build.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mi22.