Lotus was founded in 1952 by Colin Chapman and Colin Dare, who knew each other from university. The four letters in the centre of the logo are the initials of the founder’s full name. ACBC

But this was presented to his then partners by Colin Chapman, namely Michael and Nigel Allen, as if the acronym were a mosaic of Colin Chapman and Allen Brothers.

From the start, priority was given to the production of racing cars, both street and race car. In Formula 1 they achieved many successes in the early years. In 1966 they moved to Heathel in County Norfolk, where they set up shop on an early RAF airbase. It is still the company’s headquarters today, and it was a great advantage to be able to use the former airbase’s take-off sites as a test ground.

The real breakthrough came in the 1960s, with the Elan, a two-seater sports car that was later converted into a sports sedan with two extra seats.

In the 1980s they lost their North American market and faced serious financial challenges. Colin Chapman had to find new financial solutions and they also collaborated with Toyota in the technical field, which led to innovation. It was later saved thanks to General Motors. 

The latest update from Esprit is the S4 sport, the brainchild of Julian Thomson, which is now in our collection.

It has a smaller rear spoiler and revised rear and front bumpers. The rear lights are carried over from the previous generation Toyota AE86 before the facelift. The S4’s engine had the same power output as the SE’s, 268 hp (197 kW; 264 PS). The S4 was the first Esprit to use power steering. 

In 1994, the S4 was joined by the S4 Sport (S4s). The most noticeable exterior change from the S4 was the addition of the Sport 300 rear wing. The engine was still a 2.2-litre 910-series engine, but with performance-enhancing modifications that included enlarged intake ports, cylinder head modifications, a recalibrated ECM and a revised turbocharger. Engine power was increased to 305 hp (224 kW; 301 PS) and 393 N⋅m (290 lb⋅ft) of torque. Top speed was 270 km/h (168 mph), slalom speed was 99.3 km/h (61.7 mph), lateral acceleration was increased to 0.91g (0.07 lb-ft), and 0-97 km/h (60 mph) was 4.6 seconds.  

Its pop culture role is very strong , thanks to the film Pretty woman. In which Richard Gere drives a white Lotus S4 Esprit.

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