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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Affordable Supercar Series (ASS)

Lotus is a company that I highly admire. Throughout their existence, they've kept weight at a minimum to keep performance at a maximum. Until recently, their downfall has been their utter British "quirkiness" which makes older models about as reliable as a solar powered flashlight. If you're willing to overlook these little idiosyncrasies for a supercar that is bristling with personality, won't need a second mortgage, and can still hold its own against prancing horses and raging bulls.

Most of you would think of their most recent offerings like the Elise and Exige to make it into this column. Yes, they do generate astounding numbers and are very affordable (relatively). Calling one of those an "Affordable Supercar" is like calling Lady Gaga slightly off base. It's true but everyone already knew that. Come to think about it, the Elise and Exige share a bit more with Gaga. They're all stripped down and are only for the really hardcore fans.

Where was I? The Esprit is the next most qualified candidate in the Lotus line. In 1993, it got a major makeover and was graced with some curves to accentuate its sexy wedge shape. It still made do with a 2.2 liter slant four located mid ship but with the help of forced induction in the form of a turbocharger it made a modest 300 horsepower. By today's standards 300 horsepower isn't exactly earth shattering but also by today's standards a car weighing just under 2700 pounds is mind blowing! Put those two numbers together and you find the sum is indeed greater than its parts.

It runs a 0-60 sprint in about 4.5 seconds, can pull .91g on the skidpad, and can dice the cones in the slalom at 61.7 mph. Throw on some modern performance rubber and those numbers still have room to improve.

How much coin does it take to get into this British bombshell? As of this writing, a 1995 model with only 18,000 miles on the clock is listed on Ebay with a "buy it now" price of $36,900. At that price, you won't have to turn tricks like the "Pretty Woman" to drive one.

1 comment:

  1. anybody come across this yesterday?