1980 Lotus Esprit Essex Turbo


The original Esprit ‘concept car’ was first shown at the 1972 Turin Motor Show. The car was then developed further and a ‘prototype’ Esprit was then shown at the 1973 Geneva Motor Show. Development was slow and Lotus finally introduced the ‘production’ Esprit at the 1975 Paris Motor Show. The car proved to be worth the wait as it was launched to critical acclaim and it soon went into production with the first cars delivered by mid 1976.

The Esprit was made famous through its starring role in the 1977 James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me. Bond’s Esprit was like no other and at the push of a button it converted into a submarine!

The first series cars, or S1, was powered by Lotus’ proven 2 litre 4 cylinder engine. The S2 was introduced in 1978 with lots of subtle cosmetic changes both externally and internally. In 1980 Lotus increased the engine size to 2.2 litres and the new model was aptly designated the S2.2.

In 1980 Lotus joined the ‘turbo revolution’ and the Lotus Esprit Turbo was launched in true Lotus style at party hosted by then F1 team major sponsor Essex Petroleum in London’s Royal Albert Hall. The first cars were known as Lotus Esprit Essex Turbos and all were finished in the blue, red and chrome livery of Essex Petroleum.

The S3 Esprit was introduced in late 1980 and built as both a ‘standard’ Esprit and also Esprit Turbo.

In 1987 Lotus unveiled the new Esprit designed by Peter Stevens.

Of the early Esprits the S1, JPS Limited Edition S2 and the Essex Turbo and now hard to find and sought after by collectors and enthusiasts all over the world. Of these, the Essex Turbo is the rarest with only 45 cars built in total, of which only 34 were actual production cars. The first 11 cars were development or pre-production cars.

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer a1980 Lotus Esprit Essex Turbo. This particular car is one of only 23 UK spec cars and is car number “007” . . . how very James Bond indeed!

The car is in good condition and it runs and drives well. It has a full service history from new, including its service book and a very thick history file.

There may be only 34 Lotus Esprit Essex Turbos built, but there is only one “007”.



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  • Lotus Esprit Essex Turbo
  • 1980
  • Coupe
  • Manual
  • 5075 km
  • 2174cc


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