With the Esprit, Lotus entered the modern supercar market for the first time. It’s exotic shape was good enough to extend production from 1976 all the way to 2004.

Featured in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore showcased the Lotus  Esprit’s performance by eluding a chasing helicopter.

The Lotus  Esprit story started much earlier when Giorgetto Giugiaro debuted the ItalDesign M70 concept at the 1972 Turin Motor Show.

This car’s ‘folded paper’ front end was radical, yet production worthy. Four years later, a production version debuted at the 1975 Paris Motor Show.Lotus Esprit

The Lotus Esprit first went on sale in 1976 badged as the S1 with a 2-litre, 4 cylinder, 156bhp, mid-mounted engine. 25 years later the Lotus Esprit V8 2002 had a 3.5-litre

. Over the intervening year there were many evolutions of the Lotus  Esprit, but only one major change in 1987 where the basic look of the Esprit was soften by designer Peter Stevens.

Lotus Esprit  Over its entire production life, under 11,000 were built for the world wide market and this page is our definitive guide to everything you ever wanted to know about the rare

Throughout its 28 year history there were many variations of the Lotus Esprit but all of them can be grouped into two design groups. Lotus Esprit

The first category is what is commonly referred to as the Giugiaro Esprit; named after the original Italian designer of the car, Giorgetto Giugiaro. Lotus Esprit

n 1988, designer Peter Stevens who is also famous for designing the McLaren F1 supercar softened the crisp edges of the Lotus  Esprit.

The Lotus Esprit was built completely by hand. The Esprit production line was established back in 1976.

Until the end of production in 2004, nothing changed much since those days a quarter of a century ago. There were only 21 people on the line.  Lotus Esprit

With multiple people working on the car, total assembly was accomplished in about one week.  Lotus Esprit