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Esprit S2 - Restomod


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Personal view only of course - the M100 Elan is a such a forgiving car to drive, great handling, poise and roadholding. Loved it so much I owned 4.

All the others were a real handful (in all weather conditions), particularly the early Elise and the Europa. And even the Evoras can get tail happy and eat their own tyres.

This - weirdly - is the best of the lot. It's lazier to put the power down, sure, but best grip, best manners and roadholding of any Lotus I have owned. Including in the wet.

But it won't win a race against any of the others (maybe the Elans), although I see this as a GT more than an out and out sports car.

I also recently drove it back to back against a stock S2 and mine has a softer, more compliant ride, goes way quicker, is louder, and handles better, noting that this is a restomod, of course.

I was expecting an old Esprit to be way more rubbish than my last Evora - not to compare at all - and sure it's not as quick, but it is so much more a car I can push with real confidence. With my Evoras I was always wary of the back end stepping out.

So yeah, I do think it's the best handling (not the quickest) car I have ever owned and driven.

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Sudders and Dany

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Interesting.

I have heard that the M100 Elan has great roadholding. Especially with the correct tyres. There are a few really good examples near me in the NE.

After some trial and much error with a local specialist outfit setting up the geometry of my fully rebuilt Esprit S1, I had it set up at Track Torque Racing near York in January 2020 prior to going out filming in Spain with Kawasaki. On my return during the end of lockdown I had the opportunity to drive it on deserted country roads near me. They had first balanced the car and then 4-wheel aligned it. With the optional toe-out to test it. It corners fantastically.

They and some Esprit owners suggested winding off the adjustable suspension to near soft, which the Esprit seems to favour. I have the TNG (Tight Northern Git) Protech shock absorbers fitted, and would possibly try another brand at some point in the future to see if the ride can be improved further.

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I have Protechs. They got wound and wound due to chasing the wheel size issue, but eventually, we undid them and the ride is so much better. Works best on the softer side, I would agree. You could try others but I think that's the point - they don't need much clever sophistication. The Esprit just works.

I have noticed the need to get the wheels (fronts) re-aligned when replacing the tyres. They seem to loose their setup, but that could just be mine. The steering is so sensitive that you can tell from within the cabin.

Yes, M100's are epic cars, so underrated.

 

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Sudders and Dany

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