Lotus Esprit presents the 1998 model year of the fastest and most powerful Esprit to date – the V8. This new model year combines extensive improvements including: a completely restyled interior; new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) controls; a new twin plate clutch and clutch hydraulic system; a revised gearbox system and selector mechanism; a refined ABS braking system; a new windscreen wiper system; a new alarm system.
This classic British supercar raised to a new level of performance, elegance, and manageability with the installation of the all-new Lotus-designed 3.5 litre turbocharged engine. With up to 260kW available, the certified maximum speed reaches 282 km/h, while the 0-100 km/h time is 4.5 seconds. A new braking system has been developed to ensure that the legendary Lotus landing gear performance matches the power of the new engine.
The most significant of these is the introduction of a new state-of-the art three-channel ABS braking system, one of the largest brake system manufacturers in the USA. The new brake system replaces the previous powered brake system, and ensures even more control under braking.
A wide torque band with 400 Nm (295 ftlb) at 4250 rpm assures an incredibly smooth power delivery and an effortless but rapid acceleration in all five gears.
The hydraulic system with lightweight components - master cylinder, slave cylinder, push rod and hydraulic pipes - specifically developed for the Esprit by clutch specialists FTE of Germany, reduces pedal effort to give a lighter feel, greater smoothness and ease of handling.
On interior board comfort is improved with new HVAC controls and graphics. The introduction of electronic temperature and distribution controls together with repositioned air vents mean that cabin temperature and air distribution can be more precisely controlled to provide an ideal driving environment.
Behind the driver, the V8 engine drives through a revised 5-speed manual transmission, via a new A.P. Racing Twin Plate pull-actuated clutch. An extended 5th gear, giving 41.015 km/h/1000 rpm (25.485 mph/1000 rpm) is fitted to provide a more refined high-speed cruise and a higher top speed.
A great deal of attention has been paid to the packaging of the engine bay area, to present the engine in a neat and uncluttered installation. Not only has this been achieved, but the luggage space has also been increased, despite the greater complexity of emission and exhaust systems. The V8 engine is so compact that it packages within the space formerly occupied by the Lotus 4-cylinder unit.
Not only has the Lotus Esprit V8 the strongest performance of any production Lotus to date, it is also one of the quietest, to meet the latest noise regulations.
The new Lotus Esprit V8 is a powerful reminder of the appeal of this classic British sportscar. Few others can offer such an exciting blend of power, refinement, chassis performance, and pure driving satisfaction.
The Esprit V8 was available in European and US specification markets, in both left-hand and right-hand drive and could be personalised with a full range of options.