In 1980 the Essex Turbo Esprit was launched. This special edition model wore the blue, red and chrome livery of the Essex Overseas Petroleum Corporation, the sponsor of Team Lotus from 1979 to 1981. While Lotus dealer Bell and Colvill had been offering turbo conversions for the S2 Esprit from as early as 1978, the Essex Turbo Esprit was the first factory turbocharged Esprit. The Essex Turbo Esprit received the dry sump type 910 engine which has a power output of 210 hp at 6,250 rpm and 200 lb⋅ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. Acceleration from 0-60 mph could be achieved in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph.
The chassis and rear suspension were redesigned, with an upper link added at the rear to alleviate strain on the half-shafts. The brakes were also improved. Giugiaro designed an aerodynamic body kit for the car, with a rear lip spoiler, prominent louvered rear hatch, more substantial bumpers, a deeper front airdam, and air ducts in the sills just ahead of the new three-piece 15 inch Compomotive rear wheels. Inside scarlet leather combined with a roof-mounted Panasonic stereo for a dramatic environment. 45 Essex Turbo Esprit cars were built, interspersed and followed by a number of non-Essex-liveried but otherwise identical specification dry sump turbo cars.
This is a rare opportunity to own one of the most desirable Esprit Turbos. This example has been in the same ownership for the last 25 years, and benefits from being a well-known car in the Lotus Club. Delivered in January 1981 and finished in the classic Essex colours of blue and red, this car has been featured in the Classic and Sports Car Magazine in the 1990’s. Registered on a UK V5C and noted as coming with lots of history, this is a car not to miss.