With headquarters in Norfolk, England, Lotus has always been on the front line of manufacturing racing cars and sports cars. A Lotus’s superior engineering qualities and lightweight and superior handling capabilities make it among the best innovative European sports cars on the market.
In a constant struggle with the wind and in line with their physics and aerodynamics, Lotus has produced some beautiful models over the years. The design of these coupes, coupled with their racing pedigree, has resulted in these Lotus cars being awesome. Here are tenof the best Lotus cars to dominate both the road and the track.
10 1978 Esprit S1
The Esprit was introduced in 1976. It is one of the most iconic, stunning, and symbolic Lotus cars ever; this 1978 example is one of only 459 imported to the US.
A British car magazine said in October 1975 that the Esprit S1 was the most exciting and challenging British sports car since the Jaguar E-Type was released.
9 1959 Elite Series 1 Racer
This very example of the first generation Elite is a stunning 1959 model. It was once owned by the renowned American driver Bob Akin. When he acquired it, he redesigned the car with an eye toward enhancing its performance.
Though still retains its factory engine, the brake system has been upgraded, and the suspension has been tightened to meet racing requirements. Minor aesthetic changes, such as the removal of the chrome to match the vehicle’s racing looks, can also be found.
8 1969 Lotus Europa S2 Federal Coupe
This sporty Lotus Europa S2 is just one of only 865 models for export to the North American market; that’s why its name has Federal in it. This model has a refurbished interior and an under the hood rebuilt Renault R16 1.6-liter engine connected to a 4-speed transmission.
Launched in April 1968, Lotus had to change the frame joints from resin glue to more traditional bolts. That’s why just a tiny number of Europa S2s were modified to be federalized (later marketed as the North American version) and then exported to the United States.
7 1957 Elite Type 14
One of the first Lotus cars, designed to be used on the streets and not just for racing, was created in 1957. The small coupe boasted a one-piece fiberglass body and weighed just 1100 lbs.
The pioneer generation elite is powered by a tiny 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine, which gives the car a top speed of 112 mph. This racer has a 4-speed manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, and an independent four-wheel suspension. And, of course, 4-wheel disc brakes complete the recipe for total track day dominance.
6 2021 Evija
Unfortunately, we don’t know how it’s pronounced in England. Still, the name Evija is derived from Eve of the Abrahamic religions, and it is based on the Biblical Hebrew word for being alive or living.
This electric Lotus will not only make the occupants feel alive, but will also be the best-performing road-going Lotus ever and maybe the world’s most powerful production car, with 2,000 hp and capable of sprinting from 0 to 187 mph in less than nine seconds. However, the first battery-powered Lotus will be produced in just 130 units.
5 1985 Esprit S3 Turbo
In the early 1980s, the plan arose to provide the already excellent Esprit with a larger V8 engine, an idea opposed by Graham Akin, head of the engineering department, mainly because of its prohibitive cost.
It turns out the decision to use a smaller four cylinders engine was a good one. For instance, the 2.2-liter Esprit Turbo with 213hp right off the bat became a car greatly admired for its superior handling and acceleration characteristics compared to other superior competitors such as Ferrari and Porsche.
4 2006 Exige Sport
It shares the same aerodynamic features as its older sister, the Elise, but is reinterpreted in a more modern and performance-driven package. Upon close examination, one can notice that the curvy lines of the Elise were shaped by the wind and made smoother and straighter in the Exige.
The overall weight ranges from 2250 to 2200 lbs. On the other hand, the size of the engine varies as well. The Exige Sport 410 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine to produce a whopping 409 hp.
3 1962 Elan R26
First launched in 1962, the first-generation Lotus Elan combined all the philosophies of the Lotus founder, Colin Chapman: a steel monorail frame, a fiberglass body made of layers of spider, a low weight, and racing car agility.
Also, an evolved automobile, the Elan had independent four-wheel suspension, four-disc brakes, and a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder in-line engine with double camshafts. The engine had an aluminum head and was developed by Cosworth to endure the track.
2 2005 Elise
The Lotus Elise completely embodies the Lotus philosophy that less is more. At a mere 2,680 lbs and a 2.0-liter engine, this little two-seater takes off to a blazing 165 mph.
The engine’s power is an in-line DOHC 16-valve with an aluminum block and head, and it releases around 190 hp. Small and aerodynamic, the Elise is also a fun Targa roadster, with the option of removing the hardtop.
1 2020 Evora GT
In 2020, Lotus only brought the Evora GT to the North American market, and it weighs 3,104 lbs and 3,199 lbs, depending on the options. The optional Carbon Pack comes with a carbon-fiber roof, rear tailgate, and front access panel, reducing weight by 49 lbs. Further to that, an optional titanium exhaust reduces weight by 22 lbs. Ultimately, the manual transmission saves an additional 24 lbs.
The 2020 Evora GT is arguably the most powerful Evora in the line-up, with 416 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque for the manual, and 332 lb-ft for the automatic version.
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