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Can a S3 N/A be made to look like a Turbo? - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
spease1984

Can a S3 N/A be made to look like a Turbo?

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Hello, 

firstly apologies if this seems a really silly question but I have been a long time admirer of Esprits especially the S3.

I now have the chance to own one.

It's the N/A model and I'm not bothered that it isn't the Turbo for performance reasons, however it's the  'visual extras' that the Turbo had, the side skirts, rear window louvre and most importantly the rear spoiler that I desire the most. 

So my questions are: 

Can all of the visual Turbo 'bits' be added to a N/A car?

Are the bits available?

Could the car be returned to N/A spec if needed at a later date without any permanent damage?

 

Many thanks

Steve 

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Hi Steve, yes it can be done reasonably easily but you would have holes left on the tailgate where the louvres are fitted, same I think would be on the floor  pan for the side skirts, although they might just have the same fixing holes as he original, but not to sure on that one. Someone will come along who will give you a definitive answer soon though.

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Thank you John, 

I think the most damage is probably going to be for the rear spoiler I reckon you'd have to drill holes into the bodywork for that. 

Leaving the Louvre on wouldn't be the end of the world.

It's a lovely clean car and I'd hate to 'ruin it' I'm very much into originality but I just love the look of the Turbo. 

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I doubt it can be done without chopping the rear lip off the body (ouch) but I may get corrected on this.   On a Turbo the rear 'duck tail' is bolted on and the rear of the body has a different moulding to allow for this.   For this reason, most 'fake' turbos do not have a seam as the ducktail is glassed and blended to the body.   Bits will be available I suspect, as owners are now tending to 'unconvert' non-tubos back to original spec, which in the current market increases their desireability.   Anyway, go for the S3, its the most sorted NA 'G' car.

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Steve is correct.

Its not as easy as it looks.

Front spoiler is an easy replacement

Side skirts also easy replacement.

The problem is the whole rear tail spoiler. The rear body is a completely different molding on the Turbo have a look on the threads at other members projects such as Fabian's  James Bond recreation when stripped for respray.

 

Cheers Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t

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If you prefer originality buy a turbo.

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Thank you very much for all of your replies. You have confirmed my fears. I don't really want to chop up or hack to pieces a perfectly good genuine car just for a rear spoiler.

I will go to look at the car again but I think I will probably look for a Turbo instead. 

Steve

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I say go for the s3 ....Fantastic looking car .Very pure .Great running gear same as turbo chassis .sounds great on carbs . O .To 60 ..in 6.5 seconds  ...very rare approx 750 built ..... Good luck Mike.   and welcome 

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The S3 NA is a fantastic car to drive to be fair. There’s a few about presently if you look

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I have some experience about this, as mine was vandalised to a turbo look. Here´s a link about the bodywork work to return it back to original

http://www.eyeballproducts.com/Lotus/Esprit.html

Edited by Finlandese

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Steve,

I agree with the others.

The cost to convert a perfect S3 to a turbolook is gonna be high in parts and labour (repaint and glassing). For this amount you better search on for a well sorted turbo esprit , if this is what you like most.

Todays market is based on originality. You will put in a lot of money and at the same time , you will be devaluating your car. That does not give a good feeling.

I understand your feeling about the bold looks of a Turbo Esprit. I love them to. But I learned to appreciate the more subtle and refined style of my S2.2.  I would even prefer changing the looks of an S3 to those of an S2  , but that would be the same butchering of a perfect S3, so dont.

The S2 may look slightly better then an S3 (it is its bumpers), but the S3 is the better car technically.

Now on the practical side:

The sills and front spoiller can be changed ( some work involved)

The Turbo has the same ears as an S2.  S3 ears are different.

The rear is a totally different mold on a Turbo. You can not just put a spoiler on . This is the difficult part.

The hatch with the louvres is different, there is no glass in a turbo.

 

 

 

Geert

Edited by gvy

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N/A S3 cars are quite rare in original form. As others have said they drive very well and are sought after in their own right. 

If you find a good S3 Id say you want to keep it original.

If you like the turbo style so much it would be better to hold out for a decent Turbo. I have a turbo and love all the add on bits.

 

Thats my advice. Actually you should go and look at the S3. I think they look lower and flatter than the turbo. They are a nice thing for sure.

 

buddsy

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I am the opposite, searched long for a good N/A s3 because I do not like the look of a turbo. for me an s1 or s2 is the best looking esprit but I wanted a glass roof and an trunniun less front so went for a late s3.  please do not convert your s3 to turbo looks (there must be esprit owners out there with s3 turbo look a like's that are happy to swap with you)  maybe thats a cheaper option

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I had a car where somebody took an S3 and attempted to make it look like a Turbo. I may  have fooled some from a distance, but chances are those people wouldn't have known any different if I was to have shown them an S3 and said it was a Turbo car. So then it's down to just the preference of the owner, and personally I'd have preferred it to have just looked good, whatever it was. It wasn't.

If you want it to look good, you'll have to put a mass of work into the task, and replace a lot of parts that already exist (so it's not just adding sills it's removing and replacing perfectly good sills) and it will still be a partial compromise, unless you butcher the body.

I'd say, it would be cheaper to buy a TE car at normal market value, than to buy a discounted S3 and the parts necessary to change over. Let alone the days/ weeks/ months of work.

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