Lotus Esprit Turbo V8
First displayed at Turin in 1972, the Lotus Esprit began life as an Ital Design styling exercise completed under Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also suggested its name. Proving the soundness of its original design, the Esprit was improved, refined and upgraded throughout its incredibly long production run, which finally ended in February 2004. Just 10,675 Esprits were produced, with average production of 381 units per year. Performance climbed with a displacement increase and the addition of a turbocharger. The debut of the compact Lotus-designed DOHC, 32-valve, 3.5-liter V-8, in naturally aspirated and twin-turbo form, sharpened the Esprit’s performance edge considerably in 1997.
With a top speed exceeding 160 mph and a 0-to-60 time of 4.6 seconds, this late-production 2003 Esprit Turbo V8 represents the ultimate variant of this iconic design. Its 350-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 is a far cry from the 140-horsepower four-cylinder that powered its predecessor. From the aggressive aerodynamics package, rear wing, dual exhaust outlets and massive wheel and tire package, this is widely regarded as the most attractive Esprit built in the model’s long history and the one with the most supercar characteristics.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
350 bhp, 3,506 cc mid-mounted 32-valve V-8 engine with dual overhead camshafts, twin turbochargers and intercooler, five-speed gearbox, fully independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 88.6"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel