Lotus Esprit Series I

First shown as a prototype on a modified Europa chassis at the 1972 Turin show, the Esprit was launched at the 1975 Paris Motor Show. It went into production in June 1976, replacing the Europa in the model line-up. Lotus focused on the engineering, but the styling was given to Giorgio Giugiaro and his then-new Italdesign studio. Giugiaro suggested the name Esprit, which remained on the production car. Power was supplied by an all-new 160 horsepower all-alloy Lotus, 2.0-litre, twin-cam, four-cylinder, mid-mounted engine.

The S1 is easily distinguished from the second series car by its shovel-style front air dam, lack of rear-quarter ducting, and Wolfrace alloy wheels. Inside, the unique green-faced Veglia gauges also set it apart from its young brother. The Series 1 Esprit gained fame through its appearance in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Part of the RM Auctions in London in October, 2012.

Photo Credit: Tom Wood
Source: Mecum Auctions

Gallery: Lotus Esprit Series I