2009 Melbourne International Motorshow Auction

1990 Lotus Esprit 'Turbo' Coupe



Passed In


Engine In-line 4-cylinder, 2174cc
Gearbox 5-speed manual
Body Work Coupe
Colour Steel Blue
Interior Cream/Blue
Trim Leather
Wheels Cast alloy
Brakes Discs


This lot is no longer available

The Giorgetto Giugiaro styled Esprit was Colin Chapman's first serious attempt at building a supercar capable of taking on the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. First unveiled as a concept car at the Turin Motor Show in 1972, it would be another four years before the first customers took delivery and the Esprit received a considerable publicity boost thank to the 1977 James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me", with Roger Moore taking to the sea in one that became a submarine. Although it looked every inch the futuristic Italian-styled supercar both inside and out, the Esprit remained true to Lotus' philosophy of building lightweight car with small-capacity engines and handling inspired by the racetrack. For 1987, the Esprit underwent a major redesign, this time with English designer Peter Stevens, who also penned the McLaren F1, responsible for the styling. The lines were successfully updated with a softening of the sharp edges, allowing for more interior space, while new OZ alloy wheels and a glazed panel over the rear deck also did much for the appearance of the Turbo model. The instrument panel was also new and the ventilation system vastly improved. Mechanically, the Esprit Turbo was little changed from its predecessor, apart from a switch the new Renault transaxle, while boost from the Garrett T3 turbocharger was increased to 9.5 psi, raising output to 215 bhp at 6000 rpm and maximum torque to 220 lb/ft at 4250 rpm. The Esprit Turbo was capable of serious performance, reaching 60 mph from rest in just 5.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.7 seconds.