LOTUS ESPRIT S2 HISTORY
Criticism and adverse press comment about the original Esprit S1 had struck home and Lotus made speedy attempts to improve the car. The result was that the S2 model was launched in August 1978, just over two years after the first Esprit deliveries had been made. Second thoughts, in this case, were wise ones, for the S2 was an altogether more integrated package.
Mechanically, there were few changes to the S2 compared with the S1, except that the ‘E-camshaft’ specification introduced on late-model S1s was now standardized – with a worthwhile improvement in mid-range torque – and Speedline alloy wheels replaced the original Wolfrace variety.
Externally, the most obvious improvement to the style was the front undernose spoiler was now smoothly integrated into the shape of the car, while slightly protruding engine compartment air intakes were neatly positioned behind the rear quarter-windows. At the rear of the car Rover SD1-type tail-lamp clusters were fitted.
Inside and underneath there was a twin electronic motor lift mechanism for the headlamps, a new instrument cluster and slide-type switches, recontoured and wider seats, a digital clock, a redesigned engine cover and a revised aluminium sprayed exhaust system. In case potential customers still couldn’t tell the difference, there was an ‘Esprit’ decal on the nose instead of the ‘Lotus’ of the first cars the ‘Esprit S2’ decals on the rear quarters. In August 1978 the Esprit S2 was priced at £11,124 – 9 per cent higher than the last of the S1s. Lotus publicity chiefs were delighted to announce that Team Lotus’ contracted drivers, Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson, had taken delivery of the first two production S2’s.
S2 performance was nearer to the original claims – Autocar’s car was good for about 130mph, with 0-60mph acceleration in 8sec – and the drag coefficient of 0.34 was virtually unaffected by the changes to the style.
All in all, this was a step in the right direction, even if there were still advances to be made in refinement and overall creature comforts.
Offered for sale is my Esprit S2 that I have owned for the last 6 years and during this time it has been my pride and joy. This was originally bought as a weekend dry weather car but for the last 4 years the car has been dry stored. It has been regularly started and moved to keep things mechanically moving. It is in full working order with no known faults.
It was originally sold new in the UK on the 1st January 1979 and has a build date of October 1978.
- Mileage: 81,480 Miles.
- Engine: 2Ltr N/A. (Cam belt replaced less than 5000 miles ago)
- Steering Wheel Side: Right Hand Drive.
- Colour: Solid Black Paintwork.
- Interior: Black Velour.
- MOT Status: The car has just become 40 years old and should be MOT and Tax Exempt from April 2019.
- UK Road Registered on a 6 character 'T' registration plate.
- V5C in my name.
- HPI Clear.
- Lots of History from over the years.
- Adjustable Protech suspension installed.
- Full Stainless Steel Sports Exhaust and Manifold.
- Sports Clutch c/w spigot bearing replaced.
- K&N filter c/w cold air induction modification connecting to driver's side air duct.
- Stainless Steel Braided Brake Hoses fitted to the rear.
- New distributor with Electronic Ignition fitted.
- Carburettor balanced and tuned (running oversized idle and main jets which eliminates the typical flat spot at 2500rpm)
- Waterless Coolant installed.
- Reason for Sale: I’m now starting to slim down my car collection (11 at present) in preparation of a family move to France next year.
Spare parts not yet installed (will include in the price) - Engine Tonneau Cover, Original Lotus S2 Steering Wheel, Front Brake discs and pads, Fuel pump and Rubber surround for front bumper. There is also a Lotus Esprit S2 Workshop Manual included in the sale.
Bodywork is good for it's age but not perfect and has the usual age related marks, there's some slight gel crazing around the Lotus badge on the nose that’s hardly noticeable and a couple of small cracks on the front bumper. (I've tried to take pictures of the nose area but I’m unfortunately unable to pick up the crazing via a photo) She does polish up really nicely as you can see from the pictures.
The interior is in very good condition considering the age of the car. Seats are in Black Velour and are in excellent order with no wear to the bolsters. The carpet and Door Cards are also very good. The car has a Nardi Sports Steering Wheel but the original wheel is also included should you prefer.
The engine is really strong and pulls very well. It burns no oil and has really good oil pressure. The car also has a Full Stainless Steel Sports Exhaust and Manifold fitted which sounds superb. A very recent video of the engine running can be found here along with some additional pictures of the car: https://photos.app.goo.gl/2aRf7bBfTrgetSF17
All gears select smoothly and precisely without any crunches and the Sports Clutch engages and disengages as it should.
The chassis is solid, the brakes work as they should and the suspension is uprated with Protech Coilovers which provide a firm but not too harsh ride. The car handles superbly!
All switches, motors and lights work as they should.
An early Series 2 that I have owned for 6 years and the previous owner for 20 years, ready now for the next owner to enjoy.
I’ve tried to be as honest and give as accurate a description of the car as I can, so I’d really appreciate people with a genuine interest in the car please.
I may also be able to arrange transportation of the car at a reasonable rate via a friend of mine who collects and delivers cars for a living if required.
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