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That engineering partner of Toyota also had a flat 12.      

Not looking too shabby at breakfast club this morning

Years gone by......  

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I like that esprit - but it does look like any other super car - and that sort of ruins it.

the esprit shape needs to be retained - maybe softened a bit more? 

as for engine choices - the 2.2 managed to get fantastic performance figures. They stuck a v8 in like everyone said lotus should and it didn't really set the world on fire. Lotus have always been about handling and balance - rather than huge engine and hope it works like the yanks do. I would rather see a refined 4cylinder unit - sticks with the heritage a bit more.

wish I was good with a pencil!!

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softened lines will not do it for me. It is supposed to be a high performance sportscar. It does not need to be softened like all todays sedans are. The Stevens was already a softened version of the Giugiaro. and the later S4s did soften the lines of the Stevens. A new one should refer to the giugiaro heritage in details and form. It must be updated. No more pop up lights and so on, but sharp. Really sharp edges. In his time Stevens did a wonderrful job, softening the lines, because that was modern at the time. Nowadays, if you look at the really nice supercars, they aren't soft and rounded anymore. They have sharp lines.

 

Geert

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That Bahar Esprit was terrible. Horrible generic thing. It could run you over and you couldn't for the life of you describe it to the police.

They should just reissue the Sport 300 with scissor doors with a 4-pot working in tandem with an electric engine. Job done. There'd be jokes about it being out of time but the resulting insane performance would quiet people real quick. 

What more could one ask for? 

6 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

the esprit shape needs to be retained - maybe softened a bit more? 

- Retained yes, maybe not softened, but certain key features must be kept. The loop wing and the stance perhaps?

as for engine choices - the 2.2 managed to get fantastic performance figures. They stuck a v8 in like everyone said lotus should and it didn't really set the world on fire. Lotus have always been about handling and balance - rather than huge engine and hope it works like the yanks do. I would rather see a refined 4cylinder unit - sticks with the heritage a bit more.

- Absolutely, this, if anything, is Lotus' calling card - they can turn a point of derision into a selling point. Esprits were always criticised for the size of the powerplant and number of cylinders, but lo and behold - everyone is there now. The (unfortunately) cancelled Jaguar C-X75 was supposed to be running a 4-pot with electric motors at each wheel. I think Lotus could EASILY do something fantastic with hybrid tech.

 

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Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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Like that Owen - I can see elements of an esprit in there - together with a hint of xj220 with undertones ( bitter ) of Audi 

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I'm with Geert on this one; like any good modern version of a classic shape, if there's a new Esprit Giugiaro's styling cues should be clearly visible. That doesn't force the hand of the designer, in fact it should inspire them. Look at the L322 Range Rover (that's the big one just before the current model). The 1970 face is still there with round elements in the composite headlights, long vertical door handles moved forward and became gill like vents in the rear of the front wings, the two dominating swage lines are still there albeit muted, and the blackened pillars splitting up the body colour. The car looks thoroughly modern and yet it's very clear where it came from. Check out the bonnet lines, the light configuration the pillar/roof taper and the low window line carrying through over 45 years...

To that end I think it'd be interesting to see a modern interpretation of the Giugiaro design, right down to the pop up headlights. I don't see those as the preserve of the '70's/'80's. In fact it's about time someone brought them back. So teasing it out what would the elements that should be carried forward be?

range-rover-history-L.jpg

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I think to be distinctively Esprit you need to keep the shape of the rear quarter windows and hence the silhouette of the whole side glass area. Even my Stevens keeps the look of the G car in that area, albeit slightly more rounded off.

Also the car needs more 'weight' behind the doors. It is mid engined after all and if you study the side view you can see how the Esprit is actually more arse heavy than it first appears. Cleverly disguised...

In the rendering I don't see much room for the engine unless it takes up the whole boot space.

Not sure about those Range Rover Sport rims either..! :P

Not worth starting anything now...🍺

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I think the original DB was close and impressive in the flesh, but still needed more "aggression" added, certainly not softened 

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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All this retro-talk has something in it. Take a look, for example, at Ducati and MotoGuzzi WHO have succesfully managed to revive old 1970'ies lines and design, combined with modern technology. Old school, but super modern. This is what the Esprit needs to be. Not a new design. Lotus should very dearly hold on tight to their well known Esprit design, NOT a new design. The Whole idea is heritage. People of yesteryear WHO could not afford or was otherwise busy to buy an esprit, will lick them up in numbers. That is why it should be a old school looking car, with a 2,2 bi-turbo engine. One turbo for low-rpm's and one for high revs.

Lightness is also very important, as when I look at supercars today, they are carbon this and that, but still heavy. I mean max. 1100 kilo. Not like the heavy Exige v6 or the even heavier Evora 400.

One more thing: DON'T make something cheap in it. Lotus needs to upmarket the Esprit. Like the original one. Like my nice Stevens Esprit Turbo SE. Just today, I had a plummer Work in my garage, and he totally fainted when he saw the Esprit. And he was a Young guy around 30, and well into the japanese gismo's, nosmo's or whatever. But he said it outright: "If I could buy one the same today, I would. No competetion from any of todays cars, they are so boring".

And he added: "I am shaking all over my body, just by looking at your Esprit. It's so beautifull and still super mean".

I tend to agree, naturally ;););)

Did I mention he LOVED the pop-up headlights ;) which is a must on a new Esprit.

Cheers,

Jacques.

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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I wonder why the called that car the Nova in the UK? Over here that was the Purvis Eureka. I was talking to the owner here about buying the business, mold shells etc. Years ago.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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:hrhr: 

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Allan Purvis had the rights to build the Nova in oz during the 70's and on. He developed various other engine combinations such as rotary and Ford instead of VW as original. He also revised some of the body moulds changing from a flat roof to sloping similar to what is done these days, and a targa. There were also Ferrari and Lambo type scoops which he designed well and did improve the looks.

Overall I think he built a few hundred with many still in garages awaiting completion and registration unfortunately.

purvis_eureka_01.jpg

DanR

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17 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

as for engine choices - the 2.2 managed to get fantastic performance figures. They stuck a v8 in like everyone said lotus should and it didn't really set the world on fire. Lotus have always been about handling and balance - rather than huge engine and hope it works like the yanks do. I would rather see a refined 4cylinder unit - sticks with the heritage a bit more.

For once Mr Kearley, I have to disagree with you <shock horror!>

The V8 was the right choice to turn the "Esprit with aspirations" into a true supercar. I mean SUPERCAR. Unfortunately Lotus didn't finish the job. They tweaked the UN-1 gearbox a bit with an improved main shaft but didn't go the whole hog. I.e. the Quaife plus LSD route and whatever else it needed to beef it up properly. Then they could have unleashed the full 500-550 bhp that the 918 engine is capable of. That would have been a nigh on 200mph/sub 4 second 0-60 rocket ship. Deffo in the reaches of Ferrari/Maserati/Lamborghini stratosphere.

Not that I disagree with the love for the four pot "squeeze it/turbo it/chargecool it" brilliant things that Lotus did x

PS you gotta love the sound of the Esprit V8 with a loud exhaust. Are you coming to Henley in March Barry? I will take you for a spin and reverb it off the walls in Henley High Street if you are and you might get the vibe :)

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I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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6 minutes ago, DanR said:

Allan Purvis had the rights to build the Nova in oz during the 70's and on. He developed various other engine combinations such as rotary and Ford instead of VW as original. He also revised some of the body moulds changing from a flat roof to sloping similar to what is done these days, and a targa. There were also Ferrari and Lambo type scoops which he designed well and did improve the looks.

I loved the Nova/Rolf Harris back in the day. I really, really wanted to build one but I was young and had no money. Unlike now when I am older, have an Esprit and consequently no money :P

However, I look at it now and it could be a Corvette with a fancy roof/doors?

I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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Ok, there's a lot of meat to chew on in this thread so far. Ace!

I've been pondering what a new Esprit could be like so here is my two penn'orth (oops sorry, that's pre-decimalisation and definitely before 1976 :P )

Thoughts

The Esprit was originally "fine for Colin Chapman" at about 5' 9" and the cockpit has always told that story. If you're over six foot then it is a pain. Over six two and you probably can't drive it.

Given the size of the car and although it is low, the seats don't rake back very far. See above.

An Esprit is definitely a Grand Tourer. A premium vehicle. It should be up with the finest of quality, finish and fittings, like an Aston or even a Bentley. Completely luxurious and lush. With a price to match. You should be able to drive one all day, for days on end and not even notice it. (Note to self - mine does this!)

It has to perform like no other supercar when it comes to acceleration, top end, handling and braking. Well perhaps on par with a McLaren. THAT IS THE NEW COMPETITION. But with more finesse, more luxury. THIS IS WHAT LOTUS DOES.

The new Esprit definitely has to be in the supercar league.

Build quality has to be paramount. I think that is now the Lotus way, yes?

I completely agree about staying with the original concept. And close. You look at the current "MINI" or the "FIAT 500" or the "VW Beetle" and yes, they are just styling cues, having lost the underlying ethos of what the forerunners were about.

Specification

Go with the Giugiaro mindset. Folded paper, razor cut edges. No curves, apart from the wheels!

This should be a longer, lower, even wider footprint than the original. Longer - to accommodate the taller driver, it's a trend in the western world. Lower - reduce the height to improve aerodynamics and with more seat rake it is possible. Wider - yes, bloody wider! Then you have even more grippy tyres!

Think of a squashed S1? Although I would like the rear end to be a lot chunkier/flatter angle, more like the original Europa to accommodate bigger wheels/tyres and yes... no apologies...that V12 :devil:

Incidentally, Toyota have a 5.0 L DOHC V12 in production for their Century limo. Imagine what Lotus could do with that..?

Sod the hybrid/electric thing, for now anyway. This is when we should be going balls out as petrol heads before the greenies finally get their way...

I will have a go at drawing this in the next few days if I find some time. Unless the majority think I am being a tw*t!

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I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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@swindon_alan I will plan to get up in March - what and where ??

i really really wanted a v8 - the sound is good - but I'm now head over heals with my old 4 pot. I love the speed of the revs and spin up, the gurgling, the pops and bangs......it's just intoxicating - and I always did expect to keep her a year and trade up - but I don't think I will now to be honest. I really can't see me selling it. However im really missing having a slower old triumph to drive - and should have mine ready for paint this week finally. 

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Barry, go check it out. But clear things with the bank first, because you'll be adding to the collection afterwards. The V8 is notoriously comfortable to drive, so much so you'll just have to have one (and that sound!), but you won't be able to make do without the 4-pot and its quirkiness. 

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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