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Thread: Lotus Esprit (3rd gen) S3 1981-1986

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    Lotus Esprit (3rd gen) S3 1981-1986

    By the close of 1980, Lotus were effectively building three different models of Esprit, with distinct chassis designs and body moulds - the Domestic (i.e. UK) S2.2, the Export S2.2, and the dry-sump Turbo Esprit. Introduced in April 1981, the Turbo Esprit and S3 (Series 3) Esprits marked a necessary consolidation: both new models had a common chassis, inheriting much of the configuration of the Essex cars, whilst body production was based on a single common set of moulds.

    The S3 continued to use the 2.2 L type 912 engine of the S2.2, whilst the Turbo Esprit reverted to a less complex wet-sump lubrication system, retaining the power and torque outputs of its dry-sump predecessor. The interior for both cars was revised and featured new trim; combined with changes to the body moulds this resulted in more headroom and an enlarged foot well. Externally, the Turbo Esprit retained the full aerodynamic body kit of the Essex cars, and featured prominent 'turbo esprit' decals on the nose and sides; the S3 gained the more substantial bumpers, yet retained the simpler sill line and glazed rear hatch of the S2.2 body style. Both models were supplied with 15" BBS alloy wheels.

    For the 1985 model year, the S3 and Turbo underwent some slight alterations to the bodywork and to the front suspension.

    In April 1986, the final incarnations of the Giugiaro-styled Esprit were announced, with raised engine compression giving rise to the 'HC' moniker. This increased the output of the naturally aspirated engine to 172 hp (128 kW; 174 PS) and 160 lbft (217 Nm) for the Esprit HC, and to 215 hp (160 kW; 218 PS) and 220 lbft (298 Nm) for the Turbo Esprit HC, with the increased torque available at a lower rpm.

    For markets with stringent emissions requirements (mainly the United States), Lotus introduced the HCi variant, teaming the higher compression engine with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection and a catalytic converter- the first fuel-injected Esprits. This engine had the same peak power as the carburetted version, but at a somewhat higher engine speed, and torque dropped to 202 lbft (274 Nm).
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    Couldn't find any S3 press photos worthy of posting.
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    Last edited by Duell; 12-19-2012 at 11:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duell View Post
    Couldn't find any S3 press photos worthy of posting.
    I think this one is worthy of inclusion.
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  4. #4
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    I believe so too. Thank you

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    Nice lines

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    Lotus Esprit (3rd gen) S3 1981-1986 #4

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    Lotus Esprit (3rd gen) S3 1981-1986 #5
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