An overview of The Lotus Sports Car, to concentrate on the development, important features, and technical information of each model in the range, from the Mark 6 to the Elise S1.
In this report, I provide a nostalgic look at The Lotus Sports Car, among an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1952 to 1996+.
In 1952, Colin Chapman founded the Lotus Engineering Company whose goal was to generate racing and sports cars.
His first car was simply called the Mark 6 and was marketed in kit form.
The Lotus Seven
Based on the Mark 6, the Series 1 Lotus Seven was introduced in 1957.
Produced mainly in kit form, it allowed enthusiasts to get a combination sports and racing car inexpensively. It was a lightweight, quick and responsive two seater machine.
This was followed, in 1961, by the Series 2 Lotus Seven with a 1.3 litre engine.
In 1968, the San Antonio Wildlife Removal was introduced with a 1.6 litre engine.
Lastly, the Series 4 Lotus Seven appeared in 1970 with either a 1.6 or 1.7 litre engine.
The Lotus Elite
A greater performance SE version in 1960 produced 85 bhp.
There followed the Super 95, Super 100 and Super 105, with much more power. With its aerodynamic shape and Coventry Climax engine, it was a standard on the racing circuits.
The Lotus Elan
It was the first Lotus sports car to combine a steel chassis with a fibre glass frame.
This two seater was, technically, ahead of its time working with a Lotus-Ford twin cam engine and a Cosworth alloy head.
A 2+2 variant was introduced in 1967 with a top speed of 120 mph and 0-60 in 7.9 secs. Some 5,200 were constructed.
The Lotus Europa
The Lotus Europa, a two door, mid engined coupe, premiered in 1966.
Like the Elan, it had a fibre glass body on a steel chassis. The modified Renault engine was positioned behind the driver’s head.
Later models were fitted using the Lotus-Ford twin cam engine. The Europa wasn’t well received.
The Lotus Elite
In 1974, Lotus launched the front-engined, four seater Elite hatchback, designated the Type 75.
Once again, such as the Elan, it had a fibre glass body on a steel chassis. It used a 16-valve, twin overhead cam engine with a five speed gearbox.
There were four levels of specification, from the fundamental 501 to the peak of the range 504.
The Lotus Eclat
Also in 1974, the Lotus Eclat was introduced.
Based on the Lotus Elite Series 75, it had a fastback body style which provided greater boot storage.
Later models used a bigger, 2174 cc Lotus engine, although it retained the same 160 bhp due to emission regulations.
The Lotus Esprit
The Lotus Esprit Series 1 was launched in 1976. As before, it was a fiber glass body on a steel chassis, and has been the replacement for the Europa.
The engine was positioned behind the passengers, as was its predecessors. Regrettably, it was considered as being underpowered.
In 1981, the Lotus Esprit Turbo Type 82 was introduced, and was based on their expertise gained in racing.
Finally, in 1986, the Turbo Esprit HC appeared, and its high compression engine generated 215 bhp. This brought the Esprit into the supercar league.
The Lotus M100 Elan appeared in 1989.
It was a two seater convertible, and utilized a Japanese Isuzu, twin overhead cam, 1.6 litre, 16-valve engine extensively modified by Lotus. Once more, the fiber glass body has been fixed to a steel chassis.
This was the only front wheel drive sports car made by Lotus.
The Lotus Elise
Launched in 1996, the Lotus Elise Type 111 was a two seater, mid-engined convertible. Its fibre glass body has been bonded to an aluminum chassis.
Lotus also offered a set of limited edition variants. These were designed primarily for racing. The Lotus Elise outperformed all revenue anticipation, and returned Lotus into the premier league.
This marked the end of the classic Lotus sports car Beyond 2000, Lotus made a variety of exciting sports cars which, sadly, falls beyond the time frame of this review.
Perhaps this stroll down memory lane might have answered, or at least shed light on, a possible question:
Which Lotus Sports Car Is Your Favorite
However, should this query still remain unanswered, I will be reviewing, in some detail, in future articles in this website, the entire assortment of Lotus sports cars which were featured in the unforgettable era spanning 1952 to 1996.
I hope you join me in my nostalgic travels “down sports car memory lane”.
If you would care to view my Initial post, including Pictures, Videos, Technical Data, and Charts not shown in this Article, then please click on the following link: