|Many wheel designs have graced the Esprit over the
years. Most of the recent ones have been designed by Lotus and
manufactured by Italian wheel maker: OZ Racing. I won't go into all the
different styles, but suffice it to say there have been all sorts of
variations with 5, 6 and seven spokes in 1-piece or 3-piece designs.
One of the most common questions I get asked regarding wheels is from owners of 1988-1993MY who are interested in updating the look of their cars. They want to know if it is possible to put the wheels from an S4, S4s, or V8 on their model year Esprit.
The short answer is Yes. However, the front hub spigot diameter was reduced from 60mm to 58mm starting with the introduction of the S4. Since these wheels are "hub-centric", this means that the front wheels will not fit without replacing the hub or modifying the wheel. The easiest way to do this is to shave the inside of wheel by this amount. The "proper" way would be to replace the hub components.
As far as fender wall clearance, the later wheels push the limits of width. In fact, the non-USA S4s, the V8, and both the Sport models have wheel arch extensions to meet European regulations which require a certain distance between the body of the car and the surface of the wheel/tire.
Also, USA S4 and S4s cars had smaller front wheelhousings up until May 1995. Starting with the S4 serial number 62034 and with S4s serial number 63095 the wheelhousings were commonized with those of the non-USA S4s. This means that cars prior to this changepoint should not have the larger size (8.5Jx17 f and 10Jx18 r) wheels fitted to them.
Lotus recommends that all wheel lug bolts be tightened to 74 lb-ft of torque.
A comparison of wheels and tire sizes shows:
* for cars with inboard brakes only. Cars with outboard brakes had +30.0 mm inset for rear wheels.
Part of the reason why it's difficult to fit aftermarket wheels to the Esprit is because of the bolt pattern it uses. Most aftermarket wheels are made for Japanese cars which have a bolt pattern of 5x114.3. This means they have 5 lug bolts arranged in a circle whose diameter is 114.3mm. Other cars like BMW have bolt circles of 5x120. The modern Esprit has a bolt circle of 5x108. This extremely limits the aftermarket wheels that will fit the car. Your options are to: