|Thanks to the help of Dave Edmonston and the fine folks at PistonHeads.com
the Esprit Fact File now has its own discussion Forum. To enter the forum,
or select Forum from the chapter menu on the left. In the forum you can
participate in discussions with other Esprit fanatics from around the globe on
a variety of Esprit-related topics. This forum is not meant to replace, but
rather complement the great discussions that can already be found in the
Mailing Lists discussed in the topic below. I urge you to use both of these
tools to become a member of the great Lotus community.
|At one point there was no support for the Esprit on the
Internet. Lotus enthusiast Alan Perry came to the rescue and created a
mailing list called the Lotus
Mailing List. The concept was simple: you send an email to a server
with your name and email address. Once you did this you became a "subscriber"
to the list. You could then send an email to a specific address and every
other subscriber gets a copy of the mail. It's kind of like a non-real-time
version of the chat rooms you see on AOL and other places.
As time went by, membership in the Lotus List grew to many hundreds. This was both good and bad. Since Lotus makes several models, it became a nuisance for some list members to sift through hundreds of non Esprit-related emails to find emails that were of interest to them. On the plus side, those who were open-minded enough or had the time to read the emails about other cars got the benefits of the knowledge and experience of a much larger audience.
Several years later, Bryan Boyle decided to take the challenge to create an "Esprit Only" email list called the TurboEsprit Onelist. He used a list server called Onelist (later bought by Yahoo) which has the advantage of being much faster than the original Lotus List. Messages posted to the turboesprit list are sent to all members in a matter of seconds as opposed to minutes or sometimes hours in the original list. Membership has now grown to several hundred members and it has become a wonderful community for the interchange of thoughts and ideas.
Later on, members from the UK Lotus groups decided to form their own mailing list. However, there is no restriction to joining this list even if you don't live in the UK, so I recommend you join both lists.
To join the original list, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/turboesprit. From here, click on the "subscribe" button and follow the directions to become a subscriber and participate in all our discussions.
To join the UK
Lotus Esprit list, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UKLotusEsprit
and follow the instructions to become a subscriber.
If you are an Esprit owner, contemplating ownership, or a hardcore enthusiast I strongly recommend that you become an active member in these lists. There's much that you can learn and contribute.
Esprit Internet Sites
|There are many wonderful Esprit sites on the Internet. Some,
however, are worthy of special mention. I include them here in no particular
If you know of an Esprit web site that is truly worthy of mention, send me an email so it may be considered for addition to this list.
|Other Esprit Internet Sites||In addition to the Lotus
Cars USA and Lotus
Cars UK Web Sites, there have been a growing number of sites that provide
Esprit Information recently. I truly appreciate all the sites who have so kindly
and graciously added links (and wonderful compliments) on their sites.
Rather than attempting to duplicate the great efforts of others who have spent a lot of time compiling a list of related links, I suggest that you go to Ron Bennett's Lotus Links site and work your way from there. Click Here and you will be on your way to more Esprit sites than you ever thought existed.
|Brief Lotus History||
Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman (1928-1982) - (the ACBC monogram is incorporated in the Lotus badge) built and raced his first competition car in November 1948. So successful was this and his subsequent designs that in 1955 he formed Lotus Cars Limited operating from small premises in London.
Lotus Production 1957 -
The Lotus Seven
1957 - The Lotus Elite
- Type 14
1962 - The Lotus Elan
1966 Drophead Elan
Coupe introduced - known as the Elan S3.
The Company moved from Cheshunt to present purpose-built home in Norfolk, which was originally one of the many wartime airfield; USAF B24 bombers were based here - 389 Bombgroup, 8th Air Force.
1967 Elan +2 launched
In April the first deliveries took place of the new +2S model. This was luxurious update of the existing Elan +2, featuring cast wheels and the 115 bhp Special Equipment engine. The Plus Two range dropped the Elan name, kit cars being dropped from the range simultaneously. In June the Lotus Europa was launched on the British market.
In October the Elan won a gold model for coachwork at the London Motor Show for the second year running.
In December, ACB Chapman was awarded the CBE for "Services to Esport". 1970 The Elan Sprint was introduced with the new 126 bhp Big Valve engine. The Big Valve engine was also utilised in the +2S which was redesignated the Lotus +2 S130.
The Europa was derived and appeared as the Europa Twin-Cam. The new bodyshell incorporated cut-away rear fins to increase three-quarter visio, and modified seats plus a lower floor pan contributed to a better driving position.
The engine was the 105 bhp Lotus Twin-Cam unit as opposed to the Renault preciously used. This boost of power transformed the Europa into one of the world's quickest cars. A well driven Europa Twin-Cam was almost uncatchable along a winding road.
The new gearbox was offered as an option on the +2 S130 and a 5-speed was introduced on the newly announced Europa Special. The Special differed from its predecessor in minor details and was also fitted with the 126 Big Valve engine. The bodywork featured a spoiler under the nose and gold coachlining.
1974 - Elite
awarded DON Safety Trophy by Minister of Transport
October: Paris preview release of new mid-engined Esprit, styled by Giorgetto Guigiaro.
Worldwide launch of Esprit and Eclat (2+2) at Earls Court London International Motor Show. Both new models incorporated GRP coachwork on a steel backbone chassis and the Lotus 2-litre 16-valve 907 engine. Lotus received coachwork medals at the Motor Show: Esprit - Gold; Eclat - Gold; Elite - Silver (unlimited price class). The Elite was approved for exhibition in the Design Centre, London, by the Design Council.
November: Lotus celebrated 10 years of operation at its Hethel factory, Norfolk.
July: The James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" was premiered in the presence of HRH Princess Anne, the mechanical star of the film being 007's Lotus Esprit.
The Design Council Car Assessment Committee examined the Lotus Esprit and declared the model eligible for exhibiton in the Design Centre.
October: Launch of Limited Edition Esprit S2 to celebrate the Team Lotus World Championship. Only 100 of this model built for each of our three markets, each car being numbered in gold script on the exterior of the car from001 to 100. Available only in black with gold coachlining and insignia, specification included radio/cassette, competition steering wheel and commemorative plaque.
November: An agreement was reached between the De Lorean Motor Company and Lotus Cars Limited whereby Lotus would co-operate in the completion of the design and development of DMC-12 sports car to be produced in Northern Ireland for the American market.
December: Chrysler United Kingdom (Talbot) and Lotus Cars Limited signed a contract to co-operate in the production of a high performance version of the Chrysler Sunbeam to be known as the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. The rally version went on to win the World Rally Championship in 1981, using a 2,2 litre version of the 907 engine.
September: An arrangement was negotiated with Rolls-Royce Motors Inc., to distribute Lotus products in the USA through a Lotus/Rolls-Royce dealer network.
October: Royal visit to Lotus by HRH Duke of Edinburgh.
May: Introduction of 1980 model range: Eclat Series 2.2 - Esprit Series 2.2
All models updated with 2.2-litre Lotus engines. The entire model range, including the Esprit Turbo, incorporate galvanized chassis - guaranteed for five years.
October: Announcement of formation of Lotus Engineering and Technology unit made at Motor Show.
June: Press statement announcing term engineering and manufacturing co-operation between Lotus Cars Limited and Toyota Motor Corporation.
July: Royal Premiere of the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only" featuring the Lotus Esprit Turbo.
August: Visit to Norwich by the Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, to have a close look at the Lotus road and racing car activities.
December: ANTHONY COLIN BRUCE CHAPMAN, Founder and Chairman, died on Thursday 16 December, aged 54.
December: Formation of Lotus Performance Cars to import and distribute Lotus products throughout North America.
June: Completion of refinancing package for
Group Lotus Car Companies. At end 1985 holdings were as follows:
October: Motorfair, London. Introduction of updated 1984 Excel and Turbo Esprit. December: Mr. David Wickins, Chairman and founder of British Car Auctions, elected Chairman, Group Lotus Car Companies.
May: Completion of the 30,000th Lotus car from the Norfolk factory during 1966-1984
October: Worldwide accolade for Etna, Giugiaro-styled V8 concept car shown at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham, featuring the prototype Lotus four-litre type 909 V8 engine.
The Lotus Excel was displayed with major body styling changes resulting in a sleeker and smoother-looking car.
June: Announced at annual general meeting that work-in-hand had jumped from £3 million. In June 1984 to £31 million in June 1985. The massive growth of contract work (96 per cent export) from clients worldwide resulted in a major factory expansion plan to increase floorspace by 45 per cent.
One new factory of 28,500 sq ft had been completed, and occupied. Another 28,500 sq. ft was completed early 1986. By then the total increase in factory floor space was 87,000 sq. ft.
Group Lotus Car Companies name change to Group Lotus plc. Staff numbers had grown to over 600.
October: Launch of Esprit Turbo HC (High Compression), at Motor Show. A limited Edition version of the Esprit Turbo also shown to mark 20th year in Norfolk. Also announced was a four-speed automatic Excel option designated the Lotus Excel SA.
March: Team Lotus announce new Type 99 F1 car fitted with Lotus Active suspension. Ayrton Senna wins two races and demonstrated 25,000 miles of race & test durability.
April: group Lotus acquired the Millbrook Proving Ground for £7.5 million. Located in Bedfordshire the 700-acre site contains 30 miles of test tracts and surfaces including a two-mile high-speed bowl. With its emission laboratories, HYGE sled and crash-testing facilities, Millbrook is the mist advanced, independent test and validation facility in Europe.
October: Launch at Motorfair of a new Esprit Turbo. Styled in-house, the entirely new body featured a smoother more rounded appearance. A more modern interior completed the package. A normally aspirated version of the new Esprit was shown at the same time.
Detailed chassis changes further improved the Esprit's ride and handling, while specially developed Goodyear Eagle tires were specified as standard equipment.
External changes included a deeper front bib, side sills and a boot-mounted spoiler to achieve neutral balance throughout the speed range.
Standard equipment included full leather interior, air-conditioning and tilt/removable glass sunroof.
October: London Motorfair. The new Lotus Elan two-seat convertible sports car was unveiled to universal acclaim. Lotus first front-wheel drive car, it featured unique, patented "Interactive Wishbone" front suspension.
May: £2 million semi-anechoic chamber opened by Rt. Hon. Cecil Parkinson, then Secretary of State for Transport.
1990 also saw the return to the race-track for Lotus sports cars. A works supported team of 3 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE's were entered in a "Showroom Stock" series in the USA, contesting 9 races. The team took 4 victories, 6 pole positions, 6 fastest laps and 2nd place in the Manufacturer's Championship.
Team Lotus, still privately-owned, reforms under new management led by Peter Collins and Peter Wright. The new Lotus 102B F1 car reaffirms the Lotus tradition of elegance and efficiency, and carries heritage-inspired green and yellow racing colors.
In USA, Lotus Engineering supports Lotusport Inc with 3 new '91-spec race Espritís for a revised driver lineup which includes film star Paul Newman.
June: Lotus announce development of "Sound Synthesis" - the addition of computer-generated engine sound through the ICE, which follows the development of Antinoise.
August: Lotus Engineering's Design Analysis Group commission Cray supercomputer to accelerate customer service. 300 jobs go as recession bites in Lotus Cars.
September: Lotus reveals '92 Esprit range with significant customer-inspired improvement for more passenger room, better access, and improved rear visibility. Alan Curtis, Group Lotus Chairman, retires, to be succeeded by Michael J Kimberley, (previous Group CEO).
March: Due to unprecedented worldwide recession, Lotus halts all production for 5 weeks to control stock levels.
April: Forthcoming emission legislation forces cessation of Lotus Excel 2+2 production.
May: Lotus Engineering reveals Alvis Scorpion tank fitted with Lotus Active suspension featuring high-bandwidth energy-saving control of corner bogies. Carried out in conjunction with UK & US defense departments, work is ongoing.
June 15: Lotus Cars announces cessation of Elan production with loss of 300 jobs, after total build of 3857 cars. Worldwide recession and introduction of USA "luxury tax" is blamed.
July 29: Chris Boardman takes Olympic 4000m Gold Medal on epoch-making "Lotus Sport" carbon-composite monocoque bicycle.
August 22: Boardman and the Lotus "superbike" smash World 5km pursuit record by over 8 seconds. Boardman's unofficial Olympic 4km record is ratified also
October: Doc Bundy, driving the Lotus Sport Esprit X180R, takes the driver's title in USA national sports car series. Tom Langeberg wins Dutch Production Car Series in Lotus Esprit.
Launch at NEX of Esprit Sport 300 - the highest performance Lotus so far. Based on the X180R, the Sport 300 blends racetrack performance with road manners in a dramatic variant of the classic Lotus Esprit shape.
March: Lotus Engineering wins major contract with Taiwanese government to design new family of engines.
May: Lotus Esprit Sport 300 goes into production.
June: Two Lotus Esprit Sport 300's race at Le Mans - first works-supported entry for over 30 years.
July: New Lotus Sport 110 road bike debuts on Tour de France with Team ONCE.
August 27th - Bugatti buys Group Lotus from General Motors; Romano Artioli of Bugatti Industries named Chairman, Group Lotus Limited. (Millbrook Proving Ground retained by GM)
September: Lotus reveals E-Auto concept in model form at Frankfurt Auto Show. E-Auto is proposal developed by European consortium for practical 4-seat saloon with minimum fuel consumption - computer simulation predicts 140mpg.
March: Elan S2 shown at Geneva Show. Featuring new 16" wheel/tyre package and other improvements, car will enter production in Jine for mimited run of 800 units only.
June 19: Chris Boardman is re-united with a Lotus bicycle (the new Lotus Sport 110) for the first time since the 1992 Olympics and wins 30 km stage of Tour de Suisse.
July 2nd: Boardman is set new record average speed on the Prologue of the Tour de France, riding the Lotus Sport 110. He keeps the "yellow jersey" as Tour leader for two further days.
September: Lotus Esprit Sport 300 driven by Thorkild Thyrring wins British National GT series.
Chris Boardman wins World Championship in Sicily, in 4 km Pursuit and 30 km Road Race both on Lotus Sport 110, proving his and its competitiveness and versatility.
October 18: Lotus S4S announced at Birmingham Motor Show - 300 bhp peak power in S4-based body, with new wheels, Michelin tyres and revised suspension settings to suit increased performance. Lotus Esprit Police Car turns heads too !
December: Group Lotus announces £12 million turnaround to profitability after first year under Bugatti ownership.
February: Lotus GT program comes in-house in preparation for an all-out assault on sportscar racing in 1996 - outright victory in the top GT1 category is the goal.
The GAN team, featuring Chris Boardman, takes delivery of nineteen Lotus Sport 110 frames for use in all its time-trial events during the year.
March 24: Lotus celebrates the completion of the 50,000th car since the birth of the marque in 1948. The car, a Lotus Elan S2, is donated to a major national charity with the help of former Lotus driver Britt Ekland. With the help of the "Sun" newspaper, over £65,000 is raised through competition to win the unique car.
May 8: Lotus GT car, driven by Allessandro Zanardi and Alex Portman, stunts spectators at Donington, leading the GT2 class by over a lap and running up to third overall. Only a transmission fault five minutes before the end of the four-hour race prevents the team taking a fairy-tale result.
July: Lotus Esprit sales worldwide buck static market, recording 11% increase in first six months against previous year.
August 19/20: Lotus is featured marque at Monterey Historic Automobile Races in California, USA. Hazel Chapman attends as Guest of Honour. Unique collection of Lotus F1, Indy, sports and road cars on display; Lotus enthusiasts attend from around the world.
August 25: Last ever Lotus Eland is completed. Car 799 goes to long-time Lotus dealer; car 800 is retained by Lotus as "the last:" for display.
September 12: Lotus Elise is unveiled at Frankfurt Motor Show. Immediately billed as "star of the Show", Elise is superlight at 675 kg with advanced chassis of epoxy-bonded aluminium extrusions - a world's first. Other "firsts" include extruded aluminium suspension uprights and aluminium metal matrix brake discs. Promising breathtaking performance (0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds) at a price "under £20,000" with stunning looks, Elise earns praise from onlookers, and many advance orders are taken. First deliveries are expected mid 1996.
September 17: Works Lotus Esprit GT2 car driven by Zanardi and Portman takes superb class victory and fourth overall at Silverstone, after four hours' grueling racing against international field.
October 16: Building work starts on Lotus Engineering's new £3.5 million engine test facility, comprising ten state-of-the-art dynamometers with full computer control and data analysis. The facility will come on stream in July 1997.
October 25: HRH Duke of Kent visits Lotus as Chairman of British Overseas Trade Board.
March 1: All-new Lotus Esprit GT1 car (type number 114) unveiled at Paul Richard circuit for first race of 1996 GT series. The new racer features the still-secret Lotus V8 engine, a new six-speed racing transmission, F1-style aerodynamics, carbon brakes, and is down to the 900 kg minimum weight limit. After showing promise, retires due to fractured exhaust. Dutchman Jan Lammers enthuses about car's potential.
March 5: At Geneva Show, the Lotus Esprit V8 is unveiled. The all-new Lotus-designed 3.5 litre twin-turbo V8 delivers 350 bhp and 400 NM of torque with a very flat torque curve. Unit is very compact and meets 1997 regulations world wide. Detail changes to the car include improvements to the brake system with a new Kelsey-Hates ABS controller and a new vacuum servo system. Top speed increase to 178 mph. Lotus Engineering also announces technical partnership with design software house Concentra, to develop and market the revolutionary Concept Car Designer expert system.
March 24: At Monza, Lotus GT team enters two cars. Driver line-up is Lammers with British driver Perry McCarthy, Alex Portman with Mike Hezemans. Team's steep learning curve continuous.
March 25: Lotus Elise si finalist in 1996 Prince of Wales Award for Innovation - positive recognition of an exciting new product with far-reaching implications.
April 14: At Jarama, GT1 car's potential is unleashed. Lammers gets second place on grid and leads McLarens etc. for four laps before a driveshaft problem slows car.
April 18: GT team announce their return to Le Mans will take place in 1997. The BPR-run International GT series is priority for 1996.
May 12: Lotus GT team returns to Silverstone for next round of BPR series.
|Esprit Acronyms and Anagrams||Although the true reason for why Colin Chapman decided to name his company
"Lotus" remains a closely guarded secret that only his wife knows
about, it hasn't caused others to speculate on what it might mean. Many think
it's an acronym for something else. The most common suggestions are:
Re-arrange the letters in "Lotus Esprit" and what do you get? Well here are a few suggestions:
Champion ClanOK, OK, I'll stop now...
|Bushings Primer||Generally the bushings don't make noise. They might provide
a little clunk if they are so far gone that the inner metal tube can reach
the bushing holder or that the suspension part is hitting chassis. You
would be able to see that the rubber was that deteriorated and be able
to move the suspension part with your hand and see the slop.
As a general rule of thumb, if it's a cyclic sound it's something that goes round and round. If it's not cyclic it's something that goes up and down.
If your clicking is cyclic, check the wheel bearings and u-joints. Or check the trans-axle or even engine. If it's only when you're in gear, chances are you rule out the engine. Also, determine the rate of the click. An engine at 1000rpm would click some 16+ times per second. Gear reduction in the transmission would make this much slower at the wheel. So if the click is slower look between the transmission and the wheel.
If it's not cyclic, it will generally depend upon the suspension movement on the car; little while driving straight on a very flat road; lots while on a twisty, bumpy road. Suspension noises generally don't depend upon car speed or gear engaged, so you'd hear them in all gears. Another non-cyclic, though more of a one time noise at startup, are damaged engine and/or transmission mounts. Torquing by the engine can wear on these.
These are rules of thumb for guidance. There may be exceptions. Start with the rules of thumb to get you to one end (wheel or engine (cyclic)/chassis (non-cyclic)) and move towards the other end checking every joint or moving part out. Try jacking the rear up and hand turning the wheel with a quick jerk for cyclic, or just try to shake the wheel for non-cyclic.
Try some of these things out and let us know your findings. The collective wisdom and experience on this list should add up to the knowledge of a good number of master mechanics.
|Transmission||I thought of a few more tips that will help you extend
the life of your transmission. You may already know these, but many Esprit
1) Don't use second gear until the transmission is up to temperature. It has a weak second gear synchro, but it works fine when up to temperature.
2) Don't sit for any length of time with your foot on the clutch - like at a red light. The pilot bearing is not very strong, so should be loaded as little as possible. Charles Seabrook wrote Colin Chapman a letter about this, and the response he got was something like (I'm paraphrasing Charlie's paraphrase) "The bearing is designed sufficiently strong to hold up, so long as the friction plate remains in constant contact with the fly wheel."
3) Change the transmission oil over to a synthetic. Synthetics have more lubricity for a given viscosity.
4) Double-clutch when down shifting. It reduces the wear and strain on everything.
5) Always go into another gear before shifting into reverse.
|Esprit Do's and Don'ts||Upon the request of another list member, Dave Hsu was kind of
enough to suggest a list of Do's and Don'ts for Esprit ownership. Although
some are Esprit V8 specific, many are good advice regardless of what model of
Esprit you own:
|Exotic Car Owner's Code of Conduct||
Joe Martz (nsxguy@RT66.com) has owned 2 NSX's plus several Italian exotics. He posted this to the Ferrari list and I thought it was worth repeating.
(© Copyright 1998, Joe Martz)
|S1-S3 Giugiaro Esprit Facts||I know that this Fact File is woefully deficient when it
comes to the S1-S3 Giugiaro Esprits. Steve Brightman has come to the rescue
by providing the following information.
Aftermarket A/C systems were often fitted and with them additional cooling fans installed. If you don't have a full array of 4 fans get them fitted, regardless of whether or not A/C is fitted. (my A/C was fitted very unprofessionally, the fuse boxes were left stuffed under the dash. I elected to rewire and relocate the fuses on the rear bulkhead in the front compartment).
I also recommend recoring the radiator in brass vs. the original aluminum.
The otter switch is supplied with a very ineffective spring metal clip to hold it in place. This should be discarded and the switch safety wired in place (careful not to short the contacts).
A radical mod is to replace the rear glass with the turbo style louvers. If this is done the rear carpeting should be replaced with rubber matting (the car is operated with the engine cover removed). You may elect not to do this for aesthetic reasons.
Introduction | Model Information | General Information | Problems | ECM | FAQs | Maintenance | Forum | Classifieds | Price Guide | Registry | Parts | Service Bulletins | Procedures | Articles | Images | Videos | Miscellaneous | Sponsors | Closing | Email
Ó Copyright 1997-2005 All rights
Cannot be reproduced or published without the expressed written consent of:
KFM Industries, Inc.