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The new-style car, coded X180 at Hethel, was launched in October 1987, with deliveries beginning almost at once. Mechanically the same as the Giugiaro styled Turbo Esprit, other than one major item, the transaxle. In place of the previous Citroen unit, Lotus now fits the transmission from the Renault GTA. This gives slightly higher gearing with a 3.88:1 final drive ratio. The gearchange is also Renault-derived. The new gearbox has meant a change in the rear brakes. These have been moved to a more conventional outboard mounting on the cast alloy hub carriers. Brake cooling is improved, but unsprung weight is increased. Solid discs are used at the rear, while at the front ventilated discs are employed.

Two types were available on it's launch the Turbo HCPI for ‘federal’ markets. With 215bhp, Bosch injection and old-type Citroen gearbox and a Turbo for other markets, also with 215bhp, Dellorto carbs, more torque, and Renault gearbox. The Citroen gearbox was dropped for the federal market in 1988.

Inside the car there was significantly more legroom and passenger space in general. Instruments and the panel were new, there was a better ventilation system.

Peter Stevens

Esprit Production Figures



Longitudinally, mid, rear-wheel drive
Head/ block al. alloy/al alloy. 4 cylinders in line.
Bore 95.3mm, stroke 76.2mm,
capacity 2174cc.
Valve gear 2ohc. 4 valves per cylinder.
Compression ratio 80 to 1.
Electronic breakerless ignition.
Twin Dellorto DHLA 45 carburettors
Garrett T3 turbocharger.
boost pressure 9.5psi (0.67bar).
Max power 215bhp (PS-DIN) (160kW ISO) at 6000rpm.
Max torque 2201b ft (298 Nm) at 4250rpm.

5-speed manual
Gear Ratio
Top 0.82
4th 1.03
3rd 1.38
2nd 2.05
1st 3.36
Final drive ratio 3.88:1.

Front, independent, double wishbone. coil springs, telescopic dampers, and-roll bar.
Rear, independent, upper and lower transverse link with radius arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar.

Rack and pinion.
Steering wheel diameter l4ins,
2.9 turns lock to lock.

Front l0.1ins(258mm) dia ventilated discs.
Rear l0.8ins (275.9mm) dia discs.
Vacuum servo.

Al alloy,7ins rims front. 8ins rear.
Goodyear Eagle NCT tyres
size 195/60VR15 F, 235/60VR15 R.


True Time mph (secs)
30 2.3
40 3.3
50 4.3
60 5.4
70 7.1
80 8.7
90 10.7
100 13.3
110 16.3
120 20.1
130 26.0

Standing mile: 13.7secs, 103mph
standing KM: 25.0secs, 129mph

Overall mpg: 19.6 (14.4 litres/100km) 4.3 miles/litre Grade of fuel: Premium, 4-star (96 RM) or unleaded (95RM) Fuel tank: 18.0 Imp galls (82 litres) Mileage recorder 4 per cent long

Pedal 15lb; Travel: 6.O ins

kerb 3052lb/1386kg distribution % F/R 51/49 Test 3434lb/l559kg Max payload 501lb/227kg

Prices Total (in GB) 29.950.00 Road tax. delivery, no plates 560.00 Total on the Road 30,510.00 Insurance group 9

EXTRAS (fitted to test Car)
Air conditioning 1105.00 Full leather trim 660.00 Metallic paint 620.00 Radio-cassette, speakers 870.00 Total as tested 33765.00

12 months/unlimited mileage. 8-years anti corrosion


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