The dramatic Lotus Esprit X180R racecar shown overleaf competes in the prestigious American nationwide Bridgestone Supercar Championship. The LotusSport-entered car is- driven by the experienced Doc Bundy, and is one of a four-car team which also features actor Paul Newman among the driver line-up. In 1992 the team faced strong factory-backed opposition from the likes of Porsche, Mazda and Chevrolet.
It is closely based on the Lotus Esprit SE roadcar which is available in North America. The Formula One-inspired chassis offers outstanding handling, grip and braking in true Lotus tradition, while the 2.2 litre chargecooled engine produces over 330bhp with strong low-down torque - ideal for the road-race circuits of the IMSA-run series.Similar cars compete in Holland and Belgium, with a 2-litre version being campaigned in Italy, and plans for next season's motorsport both in Europe and North America are already well developed. This programme has definitely and visibly benefited the road cars. For example, the '92 Lotus Esprit incorporates aerodynamics and interior improvements developed for the race cars, while other enhancements will no doubt be included in the future. The competition work has also demonstrated the inherent durability of the road car, despite the considerable additional'on the limit' demands of the race circuits.
on USA-market Lotus Esprit SE
Blueprinted 2.2 litre engine producing 335bhp
Lightweight bodyshell with stripped interior and competition seat
Suspension uses roadcar design with race settings
Uprated brake system uses Lotus Carlton disc assemblies with race pads
Revolution wheels with Bridgestone Potenza treaded tyres
8.5 x 16'' rim with 225/50 - 16 tyre
Rear: 9.5 x 17'' rim with 275/40 - 17 tyre
Extinguishers, rollcage and competition seat harness fitted for security
Lotus re-entered sports car racing in the USA three years ago, immediately establishing new performance levels in the competitions. The 1992 LotusSport team comprises four cars, which includes actor Paul Newman and British rising star Andy Pilgrim among the driver line-up.
The racecar is closely based on the Lotus Esprit SE roadcar which is available in North America. The Formula One-inspired chassis offers outstanding handling, grip, and braking in true Lotus tradition, while the 2.2 litre chargecooled engine produces over 330bhp with strong low-down torque ideal for the road-race circuits of the IMSA-run series.
Similar cars compete in Holland and Belgium, with a 2-litre version being campaigned in Italy. The motorsport programme has definitely and visibly benefited the road cars. For example, the '92 Lotus Esprit incorporates aerodynamics and interior improvements developed for the race cars, while other enhancements will no doubt be included in the future. The competition work has also demonstrated the inherent durability of the road car, despite the considerable additional ''on the limit'' demands of the race circuits.
In 1990 Lotus needed a race prgram to promote the Esprit in the US market. To do this they upgraded an Esprit SE to race in the SCCA series. The new car, strictly race prepared, was called the Type 105
Externally, the car featured plexiglass windows with newly designed rear wings and front spoilers. Mechanically, the car had new AP Racing disc brakes, new suspension geometery and new engine management. The car produced 285 horsepower from the Lotus 910S powerplant. Such horsepower was realized thanks to the use of Lotus/Omega fuel injection.
The type 105 SCCA car encouraged Lotus to make a new road-going Supercar. Thus the X180R was born. It was based on the the Type 105 having 285 hp. Twenty of these replicas were produced and sold as race-ready, road-going cars. They had airconditioning, dual sports seats and chassis galvanisation (which was missing on the racecars).
In 1991, Lotus made three racecars to enter the SCCA World Challenge. These cars benfited heavily from the 1990 race season. These cars adopted the road-going name X180R despite changing to the Type 106 designation.
The 1991 X190R featured more horsepower, larger wheels and a revised roll-cage. The cage helped the car achieve a twenty percent increase in torsional rigidity. It did this by absorbing some of the front and rear loads.
The high state of tune allowed the engine to produce over 300 horsepower. Such power was realized by utilizing larger fuel injectors, inhanced charge-cooling and a non-catalyst exhaust system.
With all the modifictions combined, the X190R had 36 more horsepower and was 300 lbs lighter than the Esprit SE.
The racing season for the X190R lasted three years. From 1991 to 1993 the car was raced with Doc Bundy taking a class championship win in 1992.
Full Race Specification
ENGINE: four cylinder in-line 2,174cc mid-mounted for valves per cylinder dohc Lotus-GM electronic multi-point port fuel injection, chargecooler, Garrett TB03 turbocharger deliverss 1 bar (14.2psi) max boost
PEAK POWER, bhp/rpm 300/6,800
PEAK TORQUE, lb ft/rpm 310/4,800
CLAIMED KERB WEIGHT, lb 2,600
TRANSMISSION: five-speed transaxle gearbox, based on Renault 25's driving rear wheels through a ZF limited slip differential. Rear longitudinally-mounted
BODY, lightweight panels for Esprit VARI glassfibre body
SUSPENSION, front/rear upper and lower wishbones (reinforced), standard anti-roll bar, revalved standard Monroe dampers, 40 per cent spring rate increase/upper and lower transverse arms, box section trailing arms (reinforced), Monroe damperss, spring rates raised 20 per cent
STEERING: stiffer mounts for standard rack and pinion
BRAKES, front/rear ventilated ex-Omega/Carlton discs front and rear, electronic anti-lock available for racing
WHEELS/TYRES: Revolution aluminium-alloy 3-piece 8.5x16in (f) and 10x17in (r)/Goodyear Eagle GS-CS 245/45 ZR16 and 315/35 ZR17
LOTUS DRIVERS WIN TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sunday 11 October 1992: Doc Bundy, driving the LotusSport Esprit X18OR, takes the Driver's title in the Bridgestone Supercar Championship in the USA, 14 points ahead of Porsche works driver Hurley Haywood. At the same time, in the Netherlands, Tom Langeberg in the Lotus Esprit wins the Koni Production Car Series from van Dedem in a Mercedes 190-16.
The American IMSA-run championship comprised 8 races bringing together Lotus, Porsche, Mazda, Corvette and others in a national televised race series for production sports cars. The title race developed into a head-to-head between Bundy and Haywood, the decision depending on Sunday's race held at the Del Mar track near San Diego. Despite a startling and race-winning performance from Hans Stuck in the second Porsche, Haywood was unable to finish higher than fifth, behind three Lotus Esprit X180R's. Bundy's strong second place was good enough to seal the Driver's Championship. His winning car will be one of the attractions of the Lotus stand at the forthcoming Motor Show in Birmingham.
The Dutch race Esprit, despite such severe handicapping that it was forced to compete at a higher weight than the roadgoing car, still displayed such speed and reliability that team driver Langeberg was hot favourite for the title with two races to go and his car didn't let him down, despite intense pressure from Porsche, Mercedes and BMW round the Zandvoort track. Roger Becker, director of the motorsport programme, is delighted: ''We˘ve a heTritage of track success these victories show how potent and reliable today's Lotus Esprit is, both for track and road use. We plan to expand our competition programme next year''.
Limited Edition Road car
Base on the X180R Racecar
is the one Lotus that was US only, the 1991 Type 105 - x180R.
Only 20 made this is number 5. Full roll cage, blueprinted head, engine , tranny, limited slip,
lower race dampened shocks,AP Racing brakes,....etc,
about 70 differences over the standard SE's.
Lotus Esprit X180R Special edition for Sale in the US
This is one of the Lotus Built X180R Race Replicas currently available in the United States (Nov 2011) . It has a "data" plate on the dash which is pictured above that states this car was a limited production of 20 vehicles. It has Momo racing seats, full roll cage all which appear to be from the factory. Its also listed as a 2.2ltr turbo SE (with Chargecooler). on both front fenders is "World Challenge" (see pic.) This vehicle also has a tad bit over 14,200 miles on it.
Lotus produced 20 'Production Cars' for the USA Market. The cars were not production Type Approved vehicles - they were considered Track Cars. The car is based on an Esprit SE (2.2 Litre Turbo). All the Cars had the ID Plaque with the VIN & Limited Edition Number attached to the facia.
Your nearest LOTUS DEALER will be pleased to arrange a demonstration of a new Lotus.
LOTUS CARS LIMITED reserve the right to change prices and specifications at any time without notice. The information contained in this leaflet does not constitute an offer or form any part of a contract written or implied. Quoted power, speed and acceleration may vary with optional equipment and overseas engine requirements. Photographs may show optional equipment.