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Esprit S1
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  Lotus Esprit S1

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1975 - 1977
Numbers built:718
Designed by:Giugiaro / Italdesign
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter the flowing, round lines that dominated automotive design in the 1950s and 1960s, the 'wedge' made its debut. Together with the Lancia Stratos Concept, the Italdesign designed Lotus M70 concept was one of the first 'wedge' designs. The concept made its debut at the 1972 Turin Motorshow. The road going version hit the showrooms late in 1975.

Dubbed Esprit, it featured the same 2 litre four cylinder engine as the Elite S1.Under the wedge-shaped body, Lotus' characteristic steel backbone chassis could be found. Although the 2 litre engine produced a moderate 160 bhp, the Elite was an immediate thanks to its superb handling. The S2 was launched in 1977 and featured new wheels and various detail changes.

Over the years the Esprit has become one of the most popular Lotus models. It was in production up to 2003, using the same basic Giugiaro penned shape, with various revisions. The Esprit remains is one of the most recognizable cars ever produced.

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