I haven’t seen a color I didn’t like on a Lotus Esprit, but JPS black and gold has to be in the top three, all time!
This is an AutoArt Lotus Esprit Turbo, in all its wedge-shaped glory. What we have here is the second generation Esprit that packed a turboed four-cylinder engine away in its middle. The second gen, or S2, Esprits debuted in 1978, but Lotus didn’t slap the turbo on until 1980, beginning with the Essex turbo cars. This model is an example of the Esprits that followed the famed aforementioned Essex Turbos. The third generation Esprit would adopt this wedges body kit and would continue to be turbocharged.
Now remember kids, this is an old AutoArt model. While their models today regularly get 10/10 on details and fit & finish, that wasn’t always the case. A peak inside will make you realize this one is oooold. Lots of production marks and mold lines can be seen on basically every piece of the interior. The monotone cockpit of the Esprit was never inspiring anyway, but the plastic look certainly doesn’t add anything to it.
The black paint job on this bad boy though is superb. It’s high gloss has a mirror reflection, which is tough on cameras!
Here’s a shot with the lights turned down. Speaking of lights, it’s a shame this Esprit’s pop-ups aren’t functional. A much newer AutoArt model of the later V8 Esprit does have working lights, though!
The exterior dimensions are pretty much spot on, as you would expect from AutoArt. Any Giugiaro designed wedge is beautiful from the start, I’m glad to see it transfer down to this scale.
Not a mounting post in sight for any of the exterior lenses!
Painted details around the car are fantastic. Not only are the gold stripes and graphics perfect, we also get a painted keyhole and tire lettering.
The rear louvres open upwards to reveal the engine compartment.
Here we find the engine cover, a leather-looking cover over the “luggage compartment”, and a pretty disappointing painted coolant or oil cap.
The plastic engine cover lifts away freely to display the turboed 4. There’s a fair amount of detail there set off by some paint. Ignore that stupid radiator cap ruining the shot.
The front compartment does not open, so opening features are limited to the doors and engine bay.
AutoArt also released this model in white with red stripes and in the famed Essex livery. They seem to be pretty rare, but good deals pop up on eBay every now and then. This model had a $100 Buy it Now, so I pounced on it. I only see one other car on there now with a starting bid of $299 with a side of crack. Personally, I was expecting a little more for the money sellers are asking for these cars. It happily sits on my shelf now though. This generation Esprit is one of my all-time favorites and is definitely on my bucket list. Maybe if I stop buying car models I can buy a real one sooner rather than later.