Lotus claims for the 172bhp 'starter' Esprit were largely unchanged over the S3, via at top speed of 138mph (222kph) 5,600rpm; 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds; 0-100mph in 18.8 seconds. Unratified fuel consumption figures were: 19.3mpg Urban, 39.8mpg at 56mph and 33.3mpg at 75mph
Such claims are really the only guide we have to later Esprit performance without a turbocharger, as the magazines were not offered a chance to independently test such an Esprit.
The Normally-Aspirated variant of the Esprit can be principally identified by the lack of a rear glass shield between the flying buttress panels. And was only produced from 1988 to 1990.
Lotus 912 2174 cc four-cylinder in-line, 16-valve DOHC,
two Dellorto DHLA4SE side draugh carburettors.
Bore & Stroke: 9.29 x 76.2mm. Compression: 9.4:1.
Block & Head: Aluminum alloy
172bhp @ 6500rpm
160lb ft @ 5000rpm
Glassfibre-reinforced plastic body with galvanised steel backbone chassis.
Passenger compartment encapsulated in a 'safety-cell structure'.
Five-speed manual unit. Rear-wheel drive.
Clutch: 9.5in diaphragm spring, hydraulically operated.
10.5in discs front
10.8in discs rear
Dual braking system, split front/rear circuits
Front: Independent by upper wishbones, lower transverse links, coil springs, anti-roll bar.
Rear: independent by non-parallel unequal-length double transverse links, radius arms, coil springs.
Front: 7J x 15
Rear: 8J x 15
Goodyear Grand Prix
Front: 195/60 VR15
Rear: 235/60 VR15