Low Mileage, Well-Sorted Example of the Final Esprit! Frigid A/C, P/W, P/S, and Moon Roof.
Click here to see the Lotus Esprit S4 V8 in action!
1997 Lotus Esprit V8
Norfolk Mustard with Black
The Esprit was Lotus’ flagship model and was produced in a wide variety of specifications ranging from Giugiaro’s original and very 1970s S1 variant with naturally aspirated carbureted 2.0 liter inline-4 of 160hp all the way up to the last cars, which featured twin turbocharged 3.5 liter flat plane V8 powerplants of 350hp. Featuring striking styling that modernized over the years, along with increasing specification levels, the Esprit still looked contemporary even when the first V8 models were offered in 1996. Performance was genuinely first-rate, with 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed in excess of 175mph, figures that were competitive with Ferrari’s F355 and Porsche’s Turbo. The Esprit remained in production for 28 years and these V8 models were the ultimate development of one of the most exotic Lotus cars ever made.
This particular car is an extremely clean example that drives great and presents very nicely as well. Currently part of a 75-car collection, this example has covered less than 600 miles since its current owner bought it in May of 2014. He fitted new tires and changed the fluids, but has otherwise not needed to do any work the car. Prior to that, the car was in the Midwest with two previous owners, one in Indiana, and the other in Michigan. From inspecting the car’s undercarriage, it is clear that the car was never used in inclement weather. It has a clean Carfax supporting the above history.
It presents very well cosmetically, with minor wear to the front of the car from road use, a few scuffs on the front spoiler, and a few small paint blemishes on the door edges, but no other significant cosmetic issues to report. The wheels are free from curb rash and wear nearly new Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, arguably the finest street tire available today and which was originally developed for the Ferrari 599 GTO. The lights and lenses are excellent as is the glass aside from a few small marks on the front windscreen. The trim and badges are also excellent, as is all weatherstripping.
The interior is also very nice. The leather is nicely mellowed and smells like a contemporary British car with leather upholstery should. Leather covers the dashboard, instrument binnacle, center console, sun visors, A-pillars, and roof liner. The leather is nearly unworn aside from some wear on the driver’s seat bolster from ingress. The dashboard shows no shrinkage and presents essentially as new. The carpets are also excellent, as is the wood trim. The instruments and switchgear are similarly nice and the car has a removable tinted glass roof panel along with a solid painted panel which can be swapped in instead.
The front and rear compartments are extremely clean and are consistent with a well-maintained car that has been carefully used in good weather only. The carpet in the trunk is like new, and the engine, which is largely covered, is very clean. The front compartment contains various mechanical components and the spare tire, and is very crisp in appearance.
The car is a pleasure to drive. It is and easy car to drive with a fairly modern feel. The steering is light and precise, and the suspension reasonably compliant. The engine makes a variety of dramatic noises. As a flat plane engine, it’s the opposite of a big lopey American V8, but instead as an exciting character that is heightened by the occasionally audible blow off valves, spooling turbocharger noises, and pops through the exhaust. This is explained when viewing the exhaust system from underneath, which doesn’t appear to consist of much more than a catalytic converter after each turbo. The brakes are effective, being stout Brembo calipers, and the overall feel is of an exciting, swift, and usable performance car that is still genuinely quick, even by today’s outrageous horsepower standards.
Overall, this is an attractive and extremely nice example of an iconic car. Offering exotic styling, an exciting driving experience, and rarity, the Esprit is worth serious consideration, especially as cars from this period are starting to emerge as collectibles. 993 Turbos, manual transmission 355s, and even NSXs soar toward and past the $100,000 mark, and in comparison, the Esprit remains a superb value and most importantly, a thrill to drive.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
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