FB Group Photo of the Week: 2001 Lotus Esprit
by: Jeff Davis
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This week’s Speed Culture Syndicate Photo of the week comes from David Young of the Orlando Florida area. He gets to drive this beautiful 2001 Lotus Esprit.
What most people remember about the Lotus Esprit is that it was featured in in two James Bond movies (The Spy Who Loved Me, and For Your Eyes Only). However it was also featured in several other films that David tells us about in the description of his car that he sent to us.
What David say’s about his Lotus:
My car is a 2001 Lotus Esprit with only 23K miles. It has a Lotus designed and built 3.5 litre V8 Twin Turbo engine developing 350 bhp and 295 ft lbs of torque. Top speed is 175 mph and the 0-60 mph time is 4.4 seconds. Esprit production started in 1976 and ended in 2004 with just under 11,000 cars being built in that time frame, so you don’t see many of them on the roads.
Lotus didn’t have the money to build their own gearbox, so sourced one from Renault in France used in the Alpine. The Lotus engine could develop 500 bhp, but as the Renault 5-speed gearbox could only handle 350 bhp, the engine had to be detuned to 350 bhp.
It’s still a fast car though as being made of fiber glass it only weighs around 3,000 lbs. As they say, every British car has an Achilles heel and in this case it’s the gearbox, not the usual electrics.
Movie Features with the Lotus:
The Lotus Esprit was featured in two blockbuster Hollywood movies, “Pretty Woman” and “Basic Instinct”. When the producers of “Pretty Woman” wanted an exotic car for Richard Gere to drive their first choice was Ferrari who declined saying they didn’t want one of their cars in a movie about prostitution. The second choice was Porsche who said the same thing. Then a producer remembered the white Lotus Esprit in the Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only” which became a submarine and contacted Lotus who were more than willing to supply a car. After the movie came out and was a massive hit, Lotus Esprit sales surged leaving Ferrari and Porsche scratching their heads.