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Esprit Picture & Video Thread


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Cheers for posting Jacques,  

   Great video,   Also i new the difference in the chassis wearing the famous engine/chassis cross brace in the engine bay,   but never new the the front crossmember on the front of the chassis was different ?    Was this only on the s300 chassis or continued in production on all the future esprit model line after the sport 300 run ? 


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Perfectly expressed tribute to the car, well done!

Perhaps the front cross member reference was to the strut added from turret to anti-roll bar mount mounting structure? Believe this to have been carried forward through the V-8 series as well?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎20‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 10:25, Jacques said:

Not sure what part you refer to Steve?

Then there are the revised Y-stays that are there mostly to add extra support to the whole radiator cassette.


cut and pasted from over the pond:

When you take a closer look on the Esprit Turbo SE and the Sport300 cars, the front cross member had the two reinforcing tubes welded on to the Esprit Turbo SE, where as on the Sport300 they were bolted on, to make it easier to access the servo. The earlier Stevens Esprit such as the 1988 turbo, Turbo S etc, did not have these reinforcements. Extra stiffness, less flex.

The next reinforcements are the body itself. If you take a closer look upon opening the bonnet, on the earlier Stevens cars, again the carb Esprit Turbo, the Bosch injection Esprit Turbo and the Esprit Turbo S, does not have two large extra reinforcements in the front compartments, going from each rear corner towards the middle of the front. Again extra stiffness.

The next difference which is only Sport300, is a few extra bolts to secure the chassis and body together. Some Sport300 have 4, some 6 extra bolts. To help the thinner bodyshell on the Sport300, which were hand laid, not Variomoulded, a proprietary Lotus technique.

Then there's the Sport300 gearshift cutout chassis reinforcement. To prevent cracks along this cutout and to aid with extra stiffness. Later on it was also made on to other cars.

Then there's the rear engine compartment brace, which consists of two thick steel tubes, which are actually assembled of a few pieces, and bolted together with a very thick aluminium cross member. It's really solid and weighs a lot. This Whole structure sits on 4 semiconical steel mounting points welded to the existing rear tubular frame, with (4) bolts. It can all be unbolted to service the engine etc.

In the video, Henry mentions the stiffer uprated suspension, 27% front and 25% rear, as well as the much stiffer bushings all around. On the S4, v8, GT3 cars, the front anti roll bar were thinner. where as on the SE it's thicker and stiffer. Later downgraded. The Sport300 dampers were also bigger and fatter to contain more oil and Work for an extended period on a track, or hard use on a public road, without changing it's damping, because of heat buildup.

The chargecooler on the Sport300 is exactly the same as on say the SE and S4, apart from being grey, having the Sport300 metal plate on top, and to support the bigger T4 turbo on the Sport300, it had been cut off by 10mm on the intake hot side, as there is not room enough for the bigger turbo.

The chargecooler system out front is often coupled together with the cooler that is normally used for the aircon, to aid capacity, but not all Sport300 have this, as a few were built with aircon, hence the normal SE/S4 chargecoolersolution.

The seats on the Sport300 are only on the Sport300. It's not the same as on the later 2 Liter GT3 cars. These have no extra provision for race belts. Ony the Sport300 have that. Otherwise the same. The mounting seat frames are also different to thee two seats, compared to all other Esprit seats. They are much lighter, and save a total of 10 kilo for both, compared to other Esprit seats.
Not all Sport300 cars have the Sport300 seats, as a few were ordered with comfort seats, as we see in later S4/v8 cars. The are wider and does not at all support and hold the driver (and passenger) like the Sport300 seats does.

The turbo on the SPort300 is not the same as on the S4s, even though it's sometimes presented as having the same power. It doesn't. The S4s have a Little bit bigger turbo and the S300 is bigger still. The memcal is also not the same. The S4s have 286 hp and 296-298 hp on overboost. The S300 have 302-304 hp depending how you measure, with no overboost.

This Means that on the Sport300 you can boost again and again without loosing power due to heat buildup, as the turbo does not get outside it's comfortzone, which means that the turbo is so big that it can Work with a lot more air, without compressing the air so much, that it get's really hot and overheat the chargecooling system. Where as on the SE/S4 and S4s, the turbos are smaller respectively, and they build up a lot of heat after a few hard working cycles, so that the overboost cannot come into play, and the ecm cuts the performance. Anyway, you all know that already. Just a point of the Sport300 setup.

Then there are the brakes, which are bigger, thicker, better ventilated and better calipers with more pistons and cooling fins, as well as no foglights out front. Instead the openings in the front fender are used to aid cold air onto the brakes.

At least one, possibly a few Sport300 were built using the "old" Stevens doors. old handles etc. Not the later Opel/GM door handles etc.
Some Sport300 does not have alcantara around the instrument binnacle, most does. Plus larger gauges for speed and rpm, speedo going to 300 km/h.

The Sport300 not only had ported cylinderhead, but also bigger inlet valves. The S4s received that same cylinderhead.
Some Sport300 have the double headertank in the rear, some had it moved to the side. Others used the plastic version later found on the following cars.

Some Sport300 had leather steering Wheel, some had alcantara on it.

Btw, the intake hose on the Sport300 going from the air filter box to the intake of the Cold side of the turbo, is much larger to attatch on to the bigger Cold inlet on the larger turbo, as well as beingmore conically shaped.
The fuel pressure regulator on the Sport300 is a modified SE one, with a dent, so it gives a slightly higher pressure.
Also the fuelpump in the right hand side fuel tank, is uprated to deliver more fuel (higher pressure).

Only on the later Sport350, the tubular rear frame were uprated in thickness, not so on earlier Esprits. That Sport350 also got the thicker anti toll bar from the Esprit Turbo SE back.

The gearshift on the Sport300 were an in-between version, being slightly shorter in throw and a bit more precise. The best though is the very latest Esprit V8 ones, which were totally redesigned to have a different endcasing on the gearbox, with one cable on each side, no translator and the gearmaster unit under the cabin were of a totally different design with no sloppy rubber bushings, but a direct pull in each cable. Can be retrofitted wink.gif

The front bumper on the Esprit Sport300 may look like the SE one, apart from having Integrated side pieces a la X180R to aid aero, but it's not, as it's made in one piece, being much lighter than the other bumpers, incl. the Esprit Turbo SE, which it otherwise resembles. The deeper front bib is also first introduced on the Sport300, to aid stability with less air under the car; more suction. lowering is 15mm on the Sport300 suspension.

Then of course the specific Wheel arch extensions also only on the Sport300 as well as a modified S4 engine cover to keep clear of the rear bracing.


I am sure somone else can edit this if any errors or add the remaining differences.

Kind regards,


Thanks for this terrific essay on the development details, however the one bit overlooked was indeed that to which I referred. It is an angled brace presumed to be in support of front braking loads above all. I'd attach a photo if I had one, instead please see item number 10 in the drawing.

p.s. - Perhaps your opening remark regarding radiator cassette support was pertinent? I may be off base in my assessment of the purpose for item 10, in that case.

Best regards


Edited by drdoom
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Hi Steve,

Yes, I know that part became revised on S4 onwards, including the Sport300, but I have similar support stays on my SE from 1990 with the exception that they are welded on to the chassis, not bolted. I'll go look an extra time next time I get around to lift something off from that area and possibly take a photo. Hope I am not wrong ;)

I can add I was told by Pete from PNM, that on the Sport300 the upper road spring to chassis insulators are 10mm lower, lowering the Whole car without affecting suspension setup in itself. Nice, though I cannot back that up as of yet being completely true. I know about the harder bushing with orange code all around on the Sport300, but this is another part.

For example it is not described in any of the literature I have, that the chargecooler itself is 10mm shorter on the intake side, jsut mentioned with another number and another colour. This is something that's beeen debated earlier, but in fact it is 10 mm shorter to adapt the bigger turbo, as i described in the above. It may sometimes apear that Lotus did not always describe their technical side very well, being somewhat "thin" from time to time.

Anyway. I'll do that lower insulator thing to my SE as well with the exception of the insulators being made from polyurethane, not rotting away as easily. I was told it doesn't really make a difference in insulation anyway, and on some later cars it was deleted and changed for a metal part.

Kind regards,


Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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4 hours ago, Jacques said:

and on some later cars it was deleted and changed for a metal part.

I think just the rear insulators became alloy parts instead of a rubber like material, not the front. But I may be wrong.

As for the #9/#10 struts, I wonder how it's possible to remove the steering rack with them in place since yours are welded?! When I changed my steering rack, these struts had to be removed — well at least it's the official way to change the assisted steering rack.


@robington > Wouldn't it be easier to park the car in reverse? I always find it better to check the proximity of the walls with the side mirrors, it looks quite hard to park it forward like on the photo!

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  • Gold FFM
10 hours ago, gvy said:

What year is that black Turbo Esprit en what is her condition? I just love black turbo esprits with gold decals and cream interior.

Geert, the turbo Esprit is a '86 if I'm not mistaken. It's been an ongoing project for some years during which ownership changed a couple of times as well (due to a divorce). It has been with 2 specialist, but neither got it running correctly. My friend has a Megasquirt and all (most) of the necessary hardware to convert to electronic injection and ignition. But he lacks the time to go through with it. He's got a Stevens N/A as well that hardly gets used.

Exterior is pretty much OK, should clean up well, apart from a few scratches (storage scars). Not sure if the interior could be fully restored without retrimming. 

BTW, 2 more Esprits will be visiting the workshop soon. 😎


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.


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8 hours ago, Escape said:

Geert, the turbo Esprit is a '86 if I'm not mistaken. It's been an ongoing project for some years during which ownership changed a couple of times as well (due to a divorce). It has been with 2 specialist, but neither got it running correctly. My friend has a Megasquirt and all (most) of the necessary hardware to convert to electronic injection and ignition. But he lacks the time to go through with it. He's got a Stevens N/A as well that hardly gets used.

Exterior is pretty much OK, should clean up well, apart from a few scratches (storage scars). Not sure if the interior could be fully restored without retrimming. 

BTW, 2 more Esprits will be visiting the workshop soon. 😎



To be honnest, Although my esprit is running great and I have reconditioned my two dellorto's when I got the car years ago, I have always been curious about an EFI conversion.

I have my opel GT 2.2 running on a vintage Bosch L-jetronic EFI system and winter,summer, cold ,hot, weeks of no use..... don't matter. It just starts almost first turn. I admit, that old L-jetronic is not as accurate as a modern EFI with lambda.

So I sometimes imagine my esprit with throttle bodies and 4 injectors, LSU4.2 lambdasonde, TPS sensor, VR sensor, airinlet temp sensor , wasted spark ignition with DIS bobin ..... In the past I had a look at KDFI V1.4 system ( This is based on megasquirt) and I looked at about 900€  on materials and a lot of fun in the conversion.


  1. It would almost certain reduce the value of an S2.2
  2. That S2.2 is running as good as an engine with 2 double carburators can run when new. It Idles stable, pulls without any hesitation with a lot of grunt and quick, redlines in high revs if asked and sounds like only a double carbed 4cyl can. I have those dellortos syncronised all the time.

With KDFI and wide band lambda and DIS :

  1. It can be finetuned for almost spot on fueling , lower emission and  higher gasmileage., with a self adjusting loop . More accurate then playing with jets ...
  2. It will start better in all conditions and can be made running the same in all conditions. ( carbs never do , because they don't take outside conditions into account)
  3. I can get that high tension from below the carbs (fuel fire risk reduced)
  4. If tuned good, it is also healthier on the engine mechanics. ( I know if can destroy the engine quick f.e. lean conditions....)
Edited by gvy
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17 hours ago, Jeanvm said:

Jean, Please don't....🤤

I have seen it and I just don't have the space left to park it and to work on it. 

I have pressed in a motorcycle between my two oldtimers  in the garage and that is more....

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