Rob Stansfield's 2002
Rob Stansfield from Zürich, Switzerland owns a 2002 V8 in Spice Yellow, with a Black interior.
V8 Year: 2002 Colour: Spice Yellow Interior: Black Driving Style: Fast Miles per year: 2,000 – 4,000 Owned Since: September 2005 Purchase from: Schaffner Racing, Birmensdorf, Switzerland Serviced at: Schaffner Racing Other Cars: Porsche Boxster S, Audi S3 Previous Lotus': Elise in Azure Blue, then another Elise in Chrome Orange Why an Esprit: Like so many others, saw Bond take his under water while I was still a child – since then, always wanted one Upgrades: Lotus Sports Exhaust, improved Air Filters, numerous alloy cosmetics and a totally new ICE system (see below) Problems: None so far! Info: See below
I had to wait a long time to finally get an Esprit. It was one of those cars that was always on my (wish) list whenever I was in the market for a car change. At first, of course, I was too young, and just couldn’t afford one. When the Elise was announced, I saw it as an opportunity to finally get a Lotus.... maybe not an Esprit, but still a true Lotus, and an affordable one at that. I had to wait a year for delivery of the first Elise, so the day I collected it, I signed the order for a second one, knowing it would also take around a year!
While getting the Elise serviced one time at Bell & Colvill, they “forced” me to take a test drive in the newly released V8. This one had Bell & Colvill’s own sports exhaust system (which they were very proud of). The V8 sounded wonderful, and oh did it fly! So, yet another step toward the inevitable Esprit purchase.
I moved to Switzerland in ‘98, which pushed Lotus a little out of view for a few years. However, I was again considering an Esprit in 2004, and finally bought one in Sept 2005. I was lucky enough to find an excellent example of one of the last design 2002 V8’s. It was being advertised by a local Lotus dealer (and tuning specialist), but still actually belonged to the customer – Erich - a total Lotus fan.... Great to find such people in Switzerland!! Thanks to Erich and also Bruno (both of them!) at Schaffner Racing for finally providing me with my dream car :o)
The car came with a Lotus Sports Exhaust and sports air filters, which together give an amazing sound to the engine. Mechanically, the car seems perfect and does not need any other upgrades or tuning. However, I like the aluminium touches in models such as the Sport 350, so I contacted Markus at P.U.K. He was very helpful, and provided the aluminium instrument dial surround, handbrake grip, race gear knob, aerial and also valve caps. I also contacted Alan Paterson for a polished gearshift surround. Alan was also great to deal with, and both these guys provided good quality parts and excellent service. Thanks guys – the Esprit interior now has a subtly modern and sporty touch, which really makes a difference without going over the top or losing the Esprit’s character. I kept all the original bits, so I can still change back to fully original if necessary.
The final thing the car needed was a bit of life in the entertainment system. It came with the standard Alpine single CD player. I’ve always liked Alpine gear, and there’s nothing really wrong with this unit. However, the Esprit is a special car, and deserves a special hi-fi (and besides which, I enjoy playing with electronics!). Due to the limited rear visibility, and a bad experience in the past with hidden objects behind my car, I wanted a system with a rear view camera. I ended up installing a Pioneer in-dash DVD player linked to a rear camera, an iPod interface (under the front bonnet) and also the new Pioneer Vehicle Dynamics Processor (also under the front bonnet). This makes a pretty interesting set-up. The Dynamics Processor is GPS based, and can track information such as speed, acceleration, cornering forces, engine power, torque, direction, altitude, location and much more. This information is all provided over the touch screen display. This set-up also allows my iPod to be fully controlled via the touch screen. The only thing missing is a camera in the front of the car, as the front skirt is so low, there’s big risk of hitting the kerb when parking. I’ll try some options and see how well it works.
Being a fan of Photography as well as Lotus, I’ve put a number of photos up on my web site (www.rs-photofolio.com). Feel free to have a browse and leave your comments! I will no doubt be extending the photo collection of the Esprit over time. I’m also happy to answer any questions about the ICE install, especially as it required the dreaded Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) connection for the GPS, and info on that is pretty hard to find (thanks to the guys at Schaffner Racing and Kato for their help with the VSS!).