Everything, like Bond, just does not float! 1996 Lotus Esprit Ownership Experience

In our country, these cars can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Movie fans know Lotus Esprit primarily from the Bond cycle, where it was a hybrid of a car and a submarine in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me, but very few have seen the iconic sports car live ...

Owner - Pavel Tikhonov, Muscovite, 48 years old, graduated from MAMI, worked in NAMI, now he is in the catering business. With Kolesa car magazine. u met at the M. ... ... . ".

Car - 1996 Lotus Esprit S4, 245 HP ... The S4 modification was produced from 1993 to 1996. Only 688 copies were produced. Of these, in 1996 - three pieces. This is the last one. All three last cars of 1996 were produced with 2.2 liter engines and shipped to the USA. But they could not be sold there, because at that time there was already a more recent version of Esprit S4s, so the cars were returned back to the plant in Hetel, Norfolk, where they were equipped with 2-liter engines and sent to Italy - the local "profitable" tax the milestone began with just 2.0 liters. Ultimately, one of these cars ended up in Russia ...

Pavel talks about his love for Lotus Esprit:

- A long time ago I saw the cult 1990 Pretty Woman starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. It has an expressive scene of the meeting of the main characters, in which the third, but not at all superfluous, Lotus Esprit is actively involved. Around the same time, I saw the uncomplicated and generally walk-through youth comedy If Beauty Could Kill, where the protagonist also rolled out a third-generation red Esprit with style. And it was then that this car made an impression on me, despite the fact that in The Spy Who Loved Me in 1976, which I watched earlier, Esprit was somehow not remembered - probably because of the hypertrophied "Jamesbond", when the superpowers simply a real living car was lost… Inspired, I bought several models of Lotus Esprit - both ready-made and for assembly, but my teenage dreams were limited to that. As an adult, it became possible to return to a childhood dream - though almost by accident ...

A brand new Range Rover, purchased just two weeks earlier, was smashed head-on. In sadness and sadness, I leafed through the classifieds site, choosing what to change to, and accidentally stumbled upon a 1996 Esprit S4. Despite the fact that it was initially clear to me as a motorist engineer that this purchase would not cost a lot of blood in all senses (because even in the ad, the owner reported a number of problems, including the inability to start the engine, and in fact, usually all the stated problems need to be multiplied by at least two), I rushed to the inspection immediately with the money, because I was sure of my desire to buy this car.

The previous owner used this Esprit for weekend trips, but the service was not very good, to the best of his ability. The car was in a very tired state of the body and interior, the engine did not start. There were many traces of garage repairs on the electrics - some sensors that were not working simply turned off, the relays were shortened, etc. They asked for 1.1 million rubles for the Esprit, and as a result, they threw off 50 thousand.In those years, a million fifty at a dollar exchange rate of about 27 rubles was a decent amount. You could buy a brand new Camry in a good package ...

Today I use the car in the same capacity - as a weekend car. But I try to ride it as often as possible, rolling at least a couple of thousand kilometers a year. On the odometer of this Lotus Esprit when buying it was 25,000 kilometers, now - in the region of 41,000 kilometers.

Outside

Lotus Esprit was presented to the public back in 1976. Forty-five years ago! The car was produced until 2004, but, despite periodic facelifts, its appearance did not change significantly over 28 years of production. Nevertheless, even today, in the 21st century, this impetuous "chisel" in Giugiaro's favorite style (even if subsequent updates by other designers were superimposed on his work) looks incredibly cool. Spaceship car! I just want to believe that the Lotus can plunge under the water at any moment, like a "bondmobile", or tighten the wheels and fly away, like DeLorean, with whom, by the way, he has a lot in common - the chassis for the iconic "time machine" DMC-12 done again in Lotus ...

The body of the Lotus Esprit is a very advanced design for its age, and even today such technologies are extremely rare due to their complexity and high cost. Esprit is a fiberglass soap dish glued from two halves on a steel backbone frame. Starting from the fourth generation, in collaboration with General Motors, the body skeleton was fine-tuned in order to strengthen it, and all the “crosses” of the life cage (the “cage” in which the driver and passenger sit) were additionally glued with carbon kevlar - the articulation of the struts with body and roof, hinge attachment points, etc. As a result, the safety of Esprit is at a height even today, in contrast to, for example, much more primitive bodies of similar sports cars similar in spirit and geography to the British brand TVR.

Some time ago, the owner of one of the few Russian Lotus Esprites had a trouble - a BMW X5 entered his right side at full speed, trying to slip onto the already lit red. Neither the Lotus driver nor the passenger who was hit in this accident was injured!