1978 Lotus Esprit Review

1978 Lotus Esprit S2 2.0 Litre from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0 Litre Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance45900 miles
Previous carTVR S2


Head-turning automotive history


Cam Belt Tensioner required rebuild.

Water pump leaking.

Oil seals on rear output drive shafts are failing.

General Comments:

This car looks sensational, especially in black. Although old, the car has been quite reliable, utilising simple, but sound engineering practices.

Lotus cars of any age will always cost more to run than to buy, so don't make budget estimations for ownership on the screen price!

There are several non-main dealer specialists who can supply parts or service for you from £25 to £50 per hour. Depending upon your skills as a mechanic, hobby ownership should not present too much of a problem.

The car handles very well. The 2 litre engine was always a stop gap for a more powerful V8, but the Esprit did not enjoy this power plant for another twelve years after my car was made.

Driving the car is always an experience for both driver and onlooker. People are always drawn to the car because of its timeless looks penned by Guigaro thirty years ago. The car has not aged as most super-cars of the seventies and still looks fresh and stylish today. You can buy good ones, but the estimations given by most Classic Car magazines do not represent the true cost of finding a good unmolested example. For an S2, expect to pay £6K for one in 2002, and check the car out first!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2002

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 1 review