Unearthed: 1984 Lotus Esprit Turbo

Classic Cars / 17 Comments

The wedge design of the Lotus Esprit Turbo still looks amazing to this day.

The Lotus Esprit is perhaps one of the most famous cars the British automaker has ever built. Besides being used in two James Bond films, the Esprit had an extremely long lifespan, which began in 1976 and lasted until 2004. And while its production finale was sad, a re-born Esprit will definitely be going on sale in 2013. Originally launched in 1976, the Esprit was the product of the Giorgetto Giugiaro's wedge design theme of the era along with Lotus' renowned chassis tuning abilities.

With its fiberglass body, steel backbone chassis, and a 2.0-liter I4 with 160hp mated to a five-speed manual, the first generation Esprit could supposedly go from 0 to 60mph in 6.8 seconds and had a top speed of 138mph. However, many doubted this claim in the U.S. because the car was down-rated for emissions purposes. But still, the first generation car was famous for its handling and many believe it had the best steering of any Esprit. The second generation introduced what's known as the Essex Turbo Esprit, which was built in commemoration of Lotus' F1 ties and their sponsorship, Essex Petroleum.

But for now, we found this third generation 1984 Esprit Turbo with about 50,015 miles on the odometer. As you can tell from the photos, it's in great shape because it was kept covered in a proper garage. The paint is in great shape and nothing on it has been restored. The owner says it needed a bit of minor work such as some engine tuning and cleaning. The tan leather interior is also in fantastic shape considering its age. Powered by a turbocharged dry-sump 2.2-liter inline four with 210hp and 200lb-ft of torque, it can go from 0 to 60mph in 6.1 seconds and had a top speed of 150mph.

The Turbo Esprit also kept the aerodynamic body kit of the Essex cars, but was given more prominent bumpers and 15.5 BBS alloys. Only 418 units of the Esprit Turbo were built in '84, making this car both rare and a beautiful classic. Photos courtesy of angel500.

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