Component Details

The following sections contain details on individual systems, subsystems, and components of the Esprit. Here you may find, part descriptions, variations per models, maintenance tips, etc. This section will be "fleshed out" in the weeks and months to come and you can help. If you have any vital information that you believe to be worthy of inclusion, please send it to us by clicking here.

Here are the categories that you will find in this section: 

Body Electrical Wheels & Tires Transmission
Glazing Engine Management Engine Manuals
Exterior Hardware Heater/AC Belts and Pulleys Tools
Seats & Belts Chassis Induction System Bulk Items
Pedal Box Suspension Fuel System Accessories
Fascia Steering Exhaust System  
Sound Insulation Brakes Cooling System  

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Where do these parts come from?

Like many other limited production car makers, Lotus saves money by using many parts from other vehicles. If you look closely at the taillight lenses on a Stevens' Esprit, you will notice they say Toyota in small print. They originally came from a 1984-85 Toyota Corolla SR5 (the last rear-drive ones).  In fact, Stevens admits that he actually designed the rear of the Esprit around these taillights to ensure that they looked integrated and not "tacked on". Units on prior Giugiaro Esprits were "borrowed" from Rover cars.

The beautiful wing mirrors on Esprits since 89MY came from a Citroen CX and can be found on numerous other supercars including the Jaguar XJ220 and the Venturi. 

Much generic British Leyland (Lucas) switchgear abounds in early Esprits. Only after then-owner GM allowed Lotus to raid their parts bins did the quality of these parts improve (they were incorporated in the 1989MY). For example, the airbag unit on the Esprit's steering wheel from 91MY-On is from a Pontiac Bonneville/TransAm or a first generation Saturn (with a Lotus cover, of course). The ECM and many of its sensors (TPS, MAP, and others) are also from GM and can be found on cars like the Corvette ZR-1. The CHMSL (3rd brake light) came from a 1989 Corvette. 

Legend has it that Colin Chapman would raid the employee parking area looking for ideas and parts to use on his cars. Employees soon learned the benefits of parking as far away from the building as possible and taking a long stroll from their cars to/from work.

As a further bit of trivia: Lotus would have loved to use the Peter Stevens re-design of the Esprit in 1987 as an opportunity to replace the Austin Maxi door handles which had been the source of so much criticism by the press. However, changing the door handles would have required homologation and crash testing which would have cost Lotus almost as much as the budget for the entire project (about 1 million pounds). The door handles were finally changed in 93-1/2 to coincide with the introduction of the S4.

If you think that Lotus is alone in this practice of pilfering through the parts bin of other manufacturers, rest assure that is not the case. A glaring example of this is the last variants of the Lamborghini Diablo when they were converted from popup headlamp pods to fixed units. If you look closely, you may recognize their source. They are indeed from a Nissan 300ZX. Lamborghini even went as far as to fabricate a small cover plate to conceal the embossed Nissan script on the lenses.

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