100 Cars That Changed History

tn_65-Lotus_Esprit_1981-1987_frontright_2009-04-18_ULotus Esprit 1981-1987 frontright 2009-04-18 U” by Detectandpreserve – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


65. Lotus Esprit 1976-2004 United Kingdom

The Esprit was a sports car built by Lotus Cars of England. The Lotus was one of famed Italian auto designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s first polygonal “folded paper” designs. The original, or S1 (Series 1) as it would become known, debut at the Paris Auto Show in 1975. The beautiful and innovative design was an eye-catcher. The Esprit S1 was said to handle well and have the best steering of all Esprits, however, it was seen as lacking power. A number of Esprits do pack plenty of power, though. In 1980 an Essex Turbo Esprit was produced. In 1998 Lotus debuted the Esprit V8 featuring their own self-developed all-aluminum, twin-turbocharged (Garrett T25/60 turbos) 90-degree V-8. The Esprit is one of the most popular Lotus’s ever made.


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