Throughout its 28 year history there were many variations of the Lotus Esprit. However, any Esprit can be lumped into one of two major categories. The first category is what is commonly referred to as the Giugiaro Esprit; named after the original Italian designer of the car, Giorgetto Giugiaro. This category includes any car built before the 1988 MY (model year). It is distinguished by sharp angles and a wedge shape that has been compared to everything from a doorstop to a spaceship. This is the Esprit that was popularized by the James Bond films: The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only.
In 1988, designer Peter Stevens who is also famous for designing the McLaren F1 supercar softened the crisp edges of the Esprit. It was featured in the movies: Basic Instinct, Pretty Woman, and If Looks Could Kill. With subtle modifications, this is the shape of the current day Esprit V8.
The Esprit Fact File is heavily slanted towards information on the Stevens Esprit. This is due mostly to two reasons: