Model Changes


(Note: All N.A. & carburetor turbo models are non-catalyst. All fuel injection cars and all USA models are catalyst equipped.)

'88 Model Year Introduction October '87
Esprit (N.A.); U.K. & Export 85 D 3000, 85 A/E/G/H/S 1000
Esprit Turbo; U.K. & Export 82 D 3000, 82 A/E/G/H/S 1000
Esprit Turbo (H.C.P.I.); USA F - 2000

As prior '88 M.Y. cars except:
Peter Stevens designed body, Lotus O.Z. wheels, open back (N.A.) or glazed (Turbo) tailgate. Non-USA cars; Renault transmission.
USA spec.: Citroen transmission (as prior '88), Bosch fuel injection.

USA Esprit Turbo 'Limited Edition': March '88
As '88 M.Y. USA cars except:
Pearlescent white body, wheels & mirrors
Open back tailgate
Strut mounted rear spoiler
Sony compact disc auto-changer
Elm instrument masks
Silver fascia plaque.

'89 Model Year: October '88
Esprit (N.A.); U.K. & Export 85 D 3374, 85 A/E/G/H/S 1087
Esprit Turbo: U.K. & Export 85 D 3374, 85 A/E/c/H/S 1087
Esprit Turbo (M.P.F.I.); USA F - 2500
As '88 M.Y. cars except:
Heated door mirrors
Central door locking
Electric filler flap release.
USA spec.: Lotus/Delco multi-point fuel injection, Renault transmission.

40th Anniversary Commemorative Esprit Turbo (Except USA): November '88
As '89 M.Y. cars except:
Carburetor Turbo (U.K.) or M.P.F.I. versions.
Pearlescent white body, wheels & mirrors
Strut mounted rear spoiler
Front spoiler bib
Sony compact disc auto-changer
Elm instrument masks
Silver fascia plaque.

Esprit Turbo 'S.E.' (Chargecooler): 82/F 5000 May '89
As '89 M.Y. cars except:
Air/water charge air cooled turbo engine with Lotus/Delco fuel injection
16" rear wheels and Goodyear Eagle tires
Revised suspension geometry
Restyled front spoiler and sill ducts
Strut mounted rear spoiler.

Commonisation of 'Eagle Chassis': May '89
N.A. RHD 85 D 3582
Turbo RHD 82 D 3587
N.A. & Turbo LHD 85/82 D 1152
USA spec. RHD 82/F - 2728
USA spec. LHD 82/F - 2749
As '89 M.Y. cars except:
Chargecooler type chassis and suspension, with 16" rear wheels and Goodyear Eagle tyres.

'91 Model Year Esprit, Esprit 'S' & Esprit 'S.F.': M 0001 October '90
U.K. only - Carburetor Turbo (Esprit)
U.K. only - M.P.F.I. Turbo (Esprit 'S')
Export - M.P.F.I. Turbo (Esprit)
Worldwide - Chargecooled M.P.F.I. Turbo (Esprit S.E./Esprit)
SE' designation dropped for chargecooler cars in non-USA LHD markets to avoid trademark infringement.
As 'Eagle Chassis' or Esprit Turbo S.E. except:
ABS brakes.
Carburetor model has open back tailgate, 4-slot rear valance (as previous N.A.), and 'no fogs' front spoiler.

'92 Model Year Esprit & Esprit 'S.E.' N 0001 October '91
U.K. only - Carburettor Turbo (Esprit)
Worldwide - Chargecooled M.P.F.I. Turbo (Esprit S.E./Esprit) 'SE' designation dropped for chargecooler cars in non-USA LHD markets avoid trademark infringement.
As '91 M.Y. cars except:
Increased interior space with revised pedal box and interior trim, wider door opening.
C/cooler models; open back tailgate with oval vents, high mounted spoiler, front spoiler bib.
Carb. model; 'S.E.' type sills.

'93 Model Year Introduction: March '93
Esprit S4 (U.K. & Export, not USA): VIN: P 0001 to 0010, 1011 onwards
As '92 M.Y. Chargecooler specification with following changes:
Restyled front bumper and spoiler, bonnet, sills, rear aerofoil, transom spoiler, rear valance.
Power steering.
Front suspension geometry altered with provision for camber adjustment.
Rear suspension camber changed, with provision for adjustment.
17 inch Lotus styled 5-spoke alloy wheels, with 215/40 ZR17 (front) and 245/45 ZR17 (rear) Goodyear Eagle GS-A tires.
New door window lift mechanism, incorporating 'one touch' and obstruction sensing.
New door lock mechanism and CDL, with single key operation of vehicle locks.
Megamoss vehicle alarm includes 'deadlocking' and engine crank immobilization.
Restyled interior including: fascia, crash pad and glovebox lid, seat upholstery, instrument layout and carbon fiber look-alike masks, center console and tunnel trim, door panels, steering wheel.
Elan type front side/turn lamps, new front fog lamps and interior lamp
Electric vacuum pump
Tailgate-mounted radio aerial.
Revised 'High Torque' RH shift transmission.
New wheel changing scissor jack.

Sport 300: June '93
U.K. & Export (not USA) VIN: P 8001
As Esprit S4 specification with following changes:
Lightweight body, bonded-in roof, scuttle brace, enlarged wheel housings with wheelarch extensions, '92 style front bumper/spoiler, fog lamp recesses now brake cooling ducts, '92 style rear bumper, valance and sills. New rear aerofoil.
Reinforced chassis, bolt-in engine bay brace, roll cage mountings.
300 bhp engine with J3/T4 turbocharger, increased boost pressure, recalibrated ECM, larger inlet valves and ports, raised fuel pressure, combined chargecooler rad./condenser on non a.c. cars.
Lotus limited slip differential, uprated clutch cover and flywheel.
Revised front and rear suspension springs and dampers.
Larger front and rear brakes, with AP Racing 4-piston calipers and ventilated discs at all four wheels.
Separate parking brake calipers.
3-piece O.Z. wheels with 245/45 ZR16 (front) and P315/35 ZR17 (rear) Goodyear Eagle GSC tires.
Alcantara interior trim
Senotex instrument masks
Larger tachometer and electronic speedometer
Molded bucket seats
Anti-slip pedal pads
Individually numbered header rail plaque.

'94 Model Year Introduction: July '93
Esprit S4 (U.K. & Export inc. USA): VIN: R 1090
Sport 300 (U.K. & Export, not USA): VIN: R 8012
U.K. and Export S4 and Sport 300 unchanged.
USA S4 introduced with following changes from U.K./Export spec.:
Different window lift motors with no 'one touch' or obstruction sensing.
Dual S.l.R. for USA and LHD Export: September '93

Esprit S4 (USA & LHD Export): VIN: R 1163
Introduced as legal requirement for USA cars, and as option in some LHD markets.
S.I.R. equipment as driver only S.I.R. with following changes:
Passenger side inflator module mounted in place of glovebox.
Passenger side knee bolster.
New DERM and dual pole arming sensor.

Revised Wiring Harness: December '93
Esprit S4 LHD: VIN: R 1242
Esprit S4 RHD; VIN: R 1250
Sport 300; VIN: R 8030
As previous with following changes:
Wiring harnesses rationalized.
Electrical components resited inc. engine bay components to RHR wheelarch.
Addition of sensing switches to front bonnet and tailgate for alarm and illumination.
Addition of front luggage compartment lamp, and 'lights on' buzzer (non-USA).
New type inertia switch RHF engine bay, and Elan type electric aerial for some markets, LHR quarter.
New engine coolant header tank, with incorporation of chargecooling system.

Brembo Brakes: June '94
Esprit S4 Non-USA: VIN: R 1443 (+ R 1377) July '94
Esprit S4 USA: VIN: S1391 June'94
(Not applicable to Sport 300)
Introduction on USA cars coincides with intro. of otherwise unchanged '95 M.Y. USA S4.
Changes include the following:
Front brakes: four piston calipers and larger discs.
Rear brakes: new calipers and larger ventilated discs.
Rear circuit pressure limiting/proportioning valve deleted.
Revised front hubs and rear hub carriers.
16" spare wheel supplied to clear new brakes.

'95 M.Y. S4 & S4S: January '95
S4 (non-USA): VIN: S 2000 (+1496)
S4S (USA); VIN: S 3000
S4S (non-USA) VIN: S 4000
As previous with following principal changes:
Caerbont instruments with 100 mm speedo & tacho, analogue clock.
Oil temp. gauge and ice detection deleted.
Footwell lamps added.
Revised trim stitching.
Walnut veneer replaces 'carbon fiber' instrument panel and door finishers.
Sport 300 style seats on non-USA S4S.
S4S: 285 bhp engine with revised turbo, inlet valves & ECM. Uprated clutch cover.
Non-USA S4S: Enlarged body wheelhousings, wheelarch spats, Sport 300 rear aerofoil.
Non-USA S4S: Wider O.Z. Futura 3-piece wheels with Michelin 235/40 ZR17 front & 285/35ZR18 rear tires. Revised springs & dampers.
USA S4S: O.Z. Futura 3-piece wheels in unchanged size with unchanged Goodyear tires.
Non-USA S4S: Uprated chassis with reinforced backbone & revised rear spring platforms.

Introduction of 'CFC Free' R134a Air Conditioning System: March '95
S4. VIN: S 2031 (RHD) S 2017 (LHD)
S4S (non-USA): VIN: S 4035 (RHD) S 4006 (LHD)
S4S(USA): VIN: S 3012
Sport3OO: VIN: S 8059
Changes include the following:
New compressor with high-pressure relief valve incorporated on rear cover; service Shraeder valves replaced by snap connectors in the suction and discharge hoses.
Square shaped parallel flow condensers (2 oft) mounted side by side and plumbed in parallel.
New separate chargecooler radiator.
Receiver-drier with changed molecular sieve material.
New hoses and pipework for increased permeability gas.

Commonized Undertray: May '95
S4: VIN: S 2034
USA S4S: VIN: S 3095
Body lower molding commonized with non-USA S4S (enlarged wheelhousings)

'96 M.Y. S4 & non USA S4S: September '95
S4; VIN: T2044
non-USA S4S: VIN: T 4126 (+4096)
Sport3OO: VIN: T8064
Specification unchanged. Note that USA models starting with S 3000 are considered 95-1/2MY. No official '96 M.Y. USA cars were built.

Esprit V8: May '96
Esprit V8: VIN: T 5009
As S4S with following principal changes:
New Lotus type 918 3.5 litre twin turbo V8 engine. No chargecooling. Lotus/Vertronix engine management.
Kelsey-Hayes ABS-415 antilock brake system.
Chassis modifications to accommodate engine and exhaust system.
Cooling system includes recirculation pump and diverter valve.
Larger capacity 'pull-type' clutch. Type UNi 027 transmission with higher 5th ratio and reverse gear brake.
New one-piece road wheels and restyled front spoiler.
New variable displacement a.c. compressor.

Esprit GT3: October '96
Esprit GT3; VIN: T 2100 (not USA)
Based on S4 model with following changes:
2 liter (type 920) 250 bhp engine.
No back pressure valve or throttle jack.
No tailgate mounted aerofoil. Swiss type rear transom spoiler lip.
Single fuel filler on LH side.
GT3 decals along door bottoms.
Sport 300 type seats with backs painted body color.
Cloth/vinyl interior trim.
Senotex instrument masks.
Body color composite gear lever shroud.
Aluminum gear lever knob.
Optional panel lamps rheostat; alarm; door edge, bonnet and footwell lamps; lights on buzzer; one touch windows.

'97 M.Y. Esprit V8 & GT3: May '96
USA V8: VIN: V 5075 (May '96)
Non USA V8: VIN: V 5215 (Oct.'96)
GT3: VIN: V2111 (Oct.'96)
Specification unchanged.

Introduction of V8 Twin Plate Clutch: February '97
EspritV8; VIN: V5280
Many cars also retrofitted
New lightweight flywheel
Low inertia twin plate clutch assembly
Cast iron clutch housing
Pedal downstop
Re-calibrated ECM.

'98 M.Y. Esprit V8 & GT3: October '97
Esprit V8: VIN: W 5408 plus 5374, 5382, 5385
GT3: VIN: W 2200 plus 2192
As previous with following principal changes:
Restyled interior with compact instrument binnacle, new center console and tunnel top.
Four instrument set, new tell tale clusters, Elise style push switches. Deletion of boost and oil temperature gauges and time clock.
Cobra 6422 security system with remote operation.
Revised interior climate control system, with rotary selector switches and electro-pneumatic flap operation. Stepper motor water valve. New face level vents. Separate re-circulation switch.
New windscreen wiper arm, washer bottle and pump.
V8: Restyled rear aerofoil mounted on tailgate. Locking gas strut for tailgate.
V8: New low effort clutch release system with new hydraulic cylinders and rigid pipe.
V8: Revised clutch fork and stiffer alloy clutch housing.
V8: Revised twin cable gearchange mechanism dispenses with translator. Modified transmission selector cross shaft. Adopted on GT3 together with lower third gear and final drive ratio in June '98 at VIN 2272..
New Kelsey-Hayes EBC 430 anti-lock brakes electro-hydraulic control unit.

Single Fuel filler.

Esprit V8-GT: January '98
Esprit V8-GT: VIN: W 5442
As with Esprit V8 with following principal changes:
No rear aerofoil.
Long type rear body spoiler.
Matte vinyl interior trim.
No a/c. (compressor retained for belt routing)
V8-GT decal in rear quarter windows.

Esprit Sport 350: October '98
Sport 350: VIN: W 5603
Limited edition of 50. As Esprit V8-GT with the following principal changes:
(Esprit V8 adopts V8 SE moniker to aid identification.)
Lightweight handlay lower body half (except SIR cars)
Carbon Fibre 'GT1' style rear aerofoil with alloy end plated. Sculpted alloy mounting plinths.
Front spoiler extension skirt and rubber lip.
New Aluminium body color with 'Sport 350' graphis on doors and sill treadplates. Blue decal tape in sill ducts radiator air intake. Grilles in front valance colored titanium.
Magnesium 'Crono'O.Z. wheels in charcoal, with Pirelli P Zero Tires marginaly wider (295) on rear.
A.P. Racing 4-pot alloy front calipers, finished in blue with Lotus lettering.
Seats with increased lateral support on cushion and backrest/ Seat facings in blue Alcantara.
Center console, instrument binnacle, gear lever tray & lower switch panel in satin finish carbon fiber. HRS switch moved to upper switch row.
Blue Alcantara door insert panels with body color feature strips.
Anodised aluminium instrument mask, gear lever knob, and gear lever gaiter ring. Aluminium plaque on windscreen with limited edition no.
Drilled alloy pads on clutch and brake pedals.
Monroe N65 dampers and stiffer springs front and rear. Uprated anti-roll bar.
Increased wall thickness chassis tubes around engine bay.
Re-calibrated ECM with re-profiled boost curves.
Blue painted plenum and cam covers.

99M.Y. Esprit V8 SE, V8-GT, Sport 350 & GT3: November '98
V8 models; VIN: X 5657
GT3; VIN: X 2287
Non-USA models unchanged. USA model only:
Revised evaporative emission system.
Anodised aluminium instrument mask, gear lever knob, and gear lever gaiter ring.
Drilled alloy pads on clutch and brake pedals.