Lotus first revealed its amazing Esprit in 1975. The Esprit effectively replaced the Europa and featured a dramatic two door, two seat, mid-engined body styled by Giugiaro. The Esprit became an instant classic and remains in production, in much modified form, today.
The Esprit S1 came with the 160bhp 1973cc four cylinder engine used in other Lotus models such as the 1974 Elite. As well as having excellent performance and road holding the Esprit also seemed to have great presence and a more up-market image than other Lotus products.
One excellent piece of marketing/product placement for the Esprit resulted in a memorable appearance in the James Bond film; "The Spy Who Loved Me". With hindsight this must surely have boosted demand for the Esprit and helped Lotus distance itself from its old kit-car image.
Buyers Guide Lotus Esprit featured in Practical Classics January 2005 – available from our sister site Bookbase. Click here to view.