Lotus Esprit – An Affordable Supercar

As soon as I saw Mosing Motorcars put this car up for sale, I called up Eric at which point his immediate reaction was:

“That guy again???”

You see, I’m always going around Mosing Motorcars because they have cars like the Shelby Cobra.  Little does he know that I will probably never leave him alone again…especially when they have this.

Lotus Esprit front

If you take a quick glance at the Lotus Esprit, you might mistake this for a Lamborghini Diablo VT or another supercar from yesteryear.  Fortunately, you can get your hands on this beauty for a fraction of whatever ridiculous price the Diablo is valued at.  Mosing Motorcars has this beauty on sale for around $40K.

The rare Esprit was built in 1998 and has badges and stickers everywhere to remind you over and over again that it does indeed have a V8 – a 3.5L twin turbo V8 at that.  At 3000 lbs, the 350 hp that the engine generates makes the car fairly quick.

Apparently Lotus detuned the engine from producing a massive 500 hp because the transmission was too weak to handle the power.  The stock gearboxes on these cars are not the greatest which is disappointing.  But, luckily, there are tons of manufacturers out there who make upgraded gearboxes to solve this exact problem.

So 500 hp Lotus Esprits do, in fact, exist – they must be so much fun.

Lotus Esprit Rear

The Esprit looks so good – especially this particular one with its super shiny Azure Blue paint which has been kept in excellent condition.  Also this car has only 30K miles on it which is almost nothing for being 17 years old.

The wheels look a little dated but it’s easy to overlook this because the rest of the car looks so great.

Lotus Engine Cover

The engine cover in the back looks like it’s housing subwoofers instead of covering an actual engine.  I think this is Lotus’ way of telling us that the engine itself generates the best music ever.  I would have to agree.

Behind the engine, there is just a little bit of room to store stuff which can only mean one thing; you can cook your eggs on your drive home from the grocery store.  Or maybe bake a chicken.

At the very least you’ll have your hot pocket all heated up and ready to eat by the time you get home.

I’m joking – I don’t really know how hot it gets back there.

Just don’t put a bag of ice there to be safe.

Lotus Front Hood

Under the front hood, there is no room to store anything.

But storage space doesn’t really matter because you wouldn’t be buying an Esprit to haul stuff around in – let alone go to the grocery store with.

Now…

Getting into the car can be a challenge.  You have to be flexible and bend down quite low in order to get yourself seated.  Not only is the car very low to the ground, but the door sills are so wide that you have to climb over all that to get into a tight interior space.  There isn’t a lot of wiggle room, so you have to carefully insert (for lack of a better word) yourself into the cabin.

Lotus Esprit Rear Angle

Once you’re in, congratulate yourself.  That means you’ve still retained enough flexibility to squeeze yourself into tight spaces that you may never get out of – no, it’s not that bad.

The two-tone interior, although dated, looked nice and was kept in great shape.

Lotus interior

I liked the fact that when I was in the driver’s seat, the 3.5L V8 twin turbo power plant was right behind me.  I think I could get used to this.


So – what’s it like to drive?

I found that the steering wheel was so close to me that my elbows were at a 90 degree angle which took me a while to get used to.  The accelerator and clutch were fairly stiff and finding the right clutch engagement point took some work.  However, once I got the car moving, shifting through the gears was no problem.

As soon as I hit the higher rpms, the sound of the turbos along with the V8 sounds made me forget about everything else.

The steering was really responsive and thanks to the huge rear tires, there was enough grip around turns even though the body felt a little unstable.  But my favorite part of the car was listening to the amazing mix of of sounds between the V8 exhaust and the turbos; yes, there is absolutely no need for a stereo, subwoofers or sound of any kind coming out of speakers.

Rear windshield

Visibility in this car wasn’t the greatest.  The rear windshield, located a few inches behind my head, couldn’t have more than a foot high and although there was a huge spoiler, it didn’t really obstruct the view in the rear view mirror.

But, then again, who really cares what’s happening behind you?

Just point and shoot – other people can slow down if you get in their lane and happen to cut them off.  And they actually slowed down!  Unbelievable.

Every time I even had a thought about changing lanes,  people slowed down…like they could read my mind.  And when I would turn on the blinker, people around me slammed on their brakes and gave me so much room to merge into the lane that I didn’t really know how to react.  It was magical because I’d never experienced anything like this before.

I guess this is what happens when you drive a car that people probably have never seen and probably have no idea what it is.

When we parked, someone came over and remarked about how beautiful the car was.  I’m sure things like this happen all the time with Esprit.

Lotus Sideview

This Lotus is not something you would drive every day, but it would be a fun car to own nonetheless because it not only does it look fantastic, it has a twin turbo V8.  

And don’t forget – you may even be able to cook breakfast on your drive back home from the store.

 

 

 

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