Which Esprit's have the most interior room? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Which Esprit's have the most interior room?

Hi guys. Quick visit to the Esprit page with some basic questions.

I have '69 Plus 2 with vinyl sunroof which I find OK for interior room, although I moved the seats back about 3" to 4" to comfortably fit my 6' / 230 lb frame and 11 EEE shoes. As an aside, it's the red one that took the long distance award at LOG32 in Orlando and was passed regularly at the track day at Sebring. Anyway, with LOG33 slated for Connecticut, I am considering an Esprit for the ~5,000 mile round trip; thinking I can toss my ear plugs and join the modern world.

There is a 2000 V8 car available locally that looks nice. Any one know the car? Understand from the sales rep the PO was very active on the boards. Car isn't available for viewing right now, but should be available in a week or two.

2000 Lotus Unlisted Item For Sale | CALGARY AB

2000 Lotus Unspecified ? CALGARY ? For Sale

I have sat in a few Esprits before but never driven or even ridden in one. Found interior room challenging on some of them. My legs would rub on the steering wheel or the pedal box would be too narrow for my feet. Does this model provide the maximum interior space for the range? Any particular model fat slow guys should consider? Does this model have a removable roof panel; if so can it be easily stowed for travel?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You'll want any Esprit from 93.5 onward. The 93 should have the same interior room, but the doors don't open as wide as 93.5 and newer.

I'm 6'0", 250#, and wear size 12s. I have found driving barefoot or with Sox works best for big feet. Also, there is a foam pad under the seats in the Esprit. You can reach under each seat and just pull it out..... Gives you more headroom. Finally, I found installing a flat bottom momo steering wheel to help out, too.

I had my black 93.5 Esprit at log 32. Too bad you didn't get a chance to sit in it.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm 6' 220 lbs and it's a tight fit in my 88 Esprit, but manageable enough for 14 months of daily driving since Oct 2011. My hair does brush the headliner on certain movements, so when I get to work, I have to remember to comb my 'bed head' (Lotus head?) prior to going to my office.

According to Jeremy Walton's book "Lotus Esprit - the Official Story" - the 1992 Esprit was the first significant 'enlargement' of the interior (page 137) - 4.5 cm head room (5(~2 is more likely) inches! - not sure if that's a book typo), 4 cm more legroom and 8 cm clearance between seat and steering wheel. The subsequent years are assumed to have retained those dimensions.

I've only sat in 2 Esprits - my 88 and a 78 S2 - so I can't vouch for the later cars.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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98 and later have the most room overall.

I couldn't drive my 91 with shoes, but I can wear anything with the 98.

Nothing changed after the 98 with size.

I put in Elise wheel and it feels roomy.

I plan to redo the foam in the seat bottom to give more height. There is a lot of foam there now.

If you need a lot more room, you need to change the seat to something that is more race car shell like (eg Elise).

When you take the seat out and sit on the floor, it's clear that the stock seat eats up a ton of room.


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Old 12-09-2012, 08:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, that is a very nice car. I think you need that car. That is definitely the car for you. Buy it now. Don't wait until it's too late. You have to have it!
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I hope that fake carbon fiber sticker stuff comes off easily. Those types of personalizations should always be removed before selling a car to get max value.

All Esprits have removable roofs starting in the late 80's that are a pain to remove and store.

Why isn't it available for viewing? Something mechanically wrong? I would find out about that. And then slap the sales rep for posting a car for sale that's not for sale.


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Old 12-09-2012, 10:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleekgt View Post
According to Jeremy Walton's book "Lotus Esprit - the Official Story" - the 1992 Esprit was the first significant 'enlargement' of the interior The subsequent years are assumed to have retained those dimensions.
that's true. I said 93 because the 92 Esprit was never sent to North America.

The North American 93 cars are essentially the British 92 cars, but with different wings.

the US 93.5 cars have some important changes though...essentially they are like the early S4 cars but without the bodywork or power steering.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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BTW.....

to the OP, your car was amazing. It is just spectacular.

I had never seen an Elan +2 before...... wow!
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadCam View Post
that's true. I said 93 because the 92 Esprit was never sent to North America.
[snip]
Yes - I was thinking you were correct as Jeremy Walton is a UK writer and the '92' is a UK-centric thing - and I lost track of the 92 vs 93 US (likewise the '87' Stevens is a UK thing vs. 88 US).
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the kind words on my Plus 2. I am really enjoying the car after a three year resto effort with Spyder frame and five speed.

Great info. Thanks to all.

Does the removable roof panel stow on board the car with room for a bit of luggage? I'm sort of spoiled with the luggage space in the Plus 2.

I did not know the carbon fibre look was non-stock, so I'll have to look that over carefully. I also think it would look better without the stuff, but removal could be difficult.

The car is at our local Porsche dealer. The sales rep was busy with another client, so not a lot of time to discuss things with him yet. He mentioned the radiator developed a leak while it was on display; expects to have it back from service in a week or two. Believe the car was originally in AZ; assuming it has been re-licensed/imported to Canada, but need to confirm some details there. A lot of guys here have second homes in AZ, so not too unusual to see Sunbelt cars on offer here. Previous owner apparently has several interesting cars, hence low mileage and garage queen look I guess. Sales rep says he has known the car for several years. Not sure where the PO got the car serviced here; perhaps with the Porsche store?

The Vancouver BC Lotus dealer brings mechanics in to an independent BMW shop here (that I am very familiar with) every six months or so, which seems like the more reasonable service arrangement for the car. I have a British car guy here that can service my old Lotus, but not sure if he can handle a modern injected one. I have seen a few earlier Esprits in for service though, and he apprenticed in England at a Lotus dealer when my car was born.

Thanks for all the details regarding interior space. Will have to check out the seat padding & wheel size carefully. Maybe that's why one of the Esprits I sat in at the Vancouver All British Field Meet seemed so generous for space, yet a locally available one here felt too small. Good to know there are some options.

Oh yeah, I'm leaning toward Lotus757's comments! Haven't run the idea by the better half yet, but guessing the Chromium Yellow & Carbon-Look discussion will be 'interesting'. Test drive opportunity may be difficult with snow all over the place here and sub-zero weather.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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An update...

I finally was able to look the car over briefly today. It looks really nice, and I fit! There is so much more room in this one compared to the earlier Steven's cars I had sit tested before. My regular mechanic had a Steven's 4 cylinder turbo in his shop today, so close to a back to back comparo.

The radiator has been completely replaced. It took a while to get the part in from the US, and then the indy shop doing the work was shut down over Christmas. Radiator failure was due to an incorrectly placed mount wearing through one of the core tubes. The tech had the old part on the bench. Problem solved. He has gone through the car, fluids, etc. and good to go; just needing final road testing to ensure coolant bleed is correct. Was unable to drive it yet, but should be available tomorrow.

Cam belt tension and condition is good. They were replaced about two years ago; have asked for documentation from PO through the dealer to check mileage, but looks good. The local indy shop that has done the rad can work on the car, so that's another hassle dealt with. he has special tools required for cam belts.

In the flesh the 'carbon' appliqué looks pretty good, although not to everyone's taste. The roof panel blends well with the tinted glass panel. The wing sticks out with the black, but not as jarring as the photo's.

Only things we noticed on inspection are the front bumper has been painted, although the lower valence and surrounding body work looks original. Some touch up painting has been done on the rear valance as well; can see masking line on tail lamp glass.

The bad news is I have not got the critical spousal approval yet, but working on it. Probably need to decide pretty quickly as there are a couple of other guys asking after the car. Will definitely cost me a home improvement reno or something.

Sooo in summary, very tempted. Wouldn't have to do anything to the car, and looks like it would be a great drive. Have preliminary approval to attend the West Coast Lotus Meet in Seattle. Figure this thing would be a blast at the Kent Track Day.

Another newbie question if I may. Do these cars have cruise control? Where should I look in the car for the Owners Manual, etc. as I didn't see a glove box?

Cheers!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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No cruise control... I am sure some have found ways to add it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply/clarification.

Found the owners manual in a pocket behind the front seat, so all good.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Cruise control

Esprit Cruise Control
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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No cruise control and no glove box. There are pockets behind each seat. Although the later Esprits have more room there are some areas that are very tight. For instance there is no good place to rest your left foot. There is very little room between the pedals so if you have large feet or use regular shoes you hit the pedals. Driving shoes are recommended. If you put the top in the boot there is very little room for much else. There is a little room in the front bonnet but not much. Spousal approval is typically easier if she drives a stick. Esprits do not come with automatics! For the car to be considered complete it should have:
1 glass top and 1 solid top and 1 bag for a top
1 air deflector for when you aren't using a top
tool kit
owner's manual
2 complete sets of keys each consisting of 1 key, 1 remote fob and 1 cylindrical bypass key
2 anti-theft keys for the wheels
antennae
spare tire, jack, lugwrench and hold-down hardware

Most will use the glass top and leave the solid one home. The top does open a little. Makes the car seem less claustrophobic than with the solid top. Requires a slightly higher weatherseal to stop the wind noise. If you don't have the complete service history you have to consider doing a full "C" service. Change all of the fluids and filters. The car should have the HTU (High Torque Upgrade) but ask them to check and verify it. Depending on the mileage the car may be near due for a clutch. That little ditty can cost $3K -$4K so if the clutch pedal is stiff and you have over 40,000 miles be prepared.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Bought the car...

Sorry, I don't know if I can change the thread name, but really appreciate the replies and interest...

Thanks for the replies. Very helpful. Will have to check for the wind deflector; is it a separate piece? The roof panel is the glass type; no solid panel or storage bag with the car now. I didn't notice wheel/rim security keys; rims are stock. How do I check for the HTU? Understand the car may have been chipped and custom waste gate installed, so need to get details, hopefully without disassembling things.

Soooo, the update is I bought the car! I test drove the car the day before we got about a foot of snow, will hopefully pick it up later this week. I have storage lined up only a few blocks from the service shop. Lynn really liked the car's style and features, and is OK with the carbon wing and interior room, although minor concern on where her purse goes. Agreement is I will have to sell my M6 but can retain my Plus 2. Hoping she can get comfortable with a manual transmission on my Plus 2 at some point.

Plan is to attend the May All British Field Meet in Vancouver and the July West Coast Lotus Meet in Seattle, but a few things to sort first.

Pre-purchase inspection indicates front shocks are due; hoping to get replaced in Vancouver at Richard's shop in May. He is recommending the upgraded Lotus/Bilstein adjustables; thoughts welcome.

The front radiator has been replaced and does not leak. However, the car is still throwing a low coolant warning light, which the service shop will address prior to pick-up. Hoping it's just a bleeding issue. Have received advice this may be the Ali pipes from the engine bay to the rad? Is there a way I can easily check this? Is it a job I can take on myself as I can't tour the car with a dodgy cooling system, and I am assuming access limitations may make
pipe replacement a big job?

Tires appear to have say 30% left; have found Netto's available locally or considering Falkens from Discount or Sumitomo HTR Z II from Tire Rack. Tire cost in the 'States is significantly better than the Great White North, so dealer recommendations in the Seattle area most welcome.

Have got the PO contact information through the forum, which is great. Have not met yet, but all looks good and he is a well respected local car guy. Understand C service c/w cam belts was done 2010, but need to confirm details and decide on service requirements for this spring. Clutch take-up, driveabilty, brakes, and ride/handling was very good, although we didn't press the car on our winter road conditions. Have seen the shifter being described as notchy, but this one feels fine if perhaps a bit slow. Frankly it is better than my M6 with a short shift kit, so no complaints or issues.

Stereo with trunk mounted amp sounds excellent with a CD, but the FM reception is pretty poor, which seems to be a Lotus feature. May replace the Alpine head unit with an iPod & Sat Radio ready Kenwood I have; it didn't fit in my Plus 2 so is presently available.

Apparently one of the window squirters is not working correctly. I have not fiddled with it yet; assuming I can figure this one out.

Front bumper has been touched up and rear valence painted body colour, but no evidence of body/frame damage. Thinking of getting Starshield 3M equivalent installed prior to touring with the car as the paint looks really good.

Last excited newbie question (for now). What workshop service manuals and parts lists would cover the car? I have bought reprint manuals from here for my Plus 2, but not sure what I need for the Esprit V8. I see CD type stuff on eBay, but not sure if they cover the V8 and if they are the Lotus manuals? Is the V8 WSM complete or do I need manuals for several models to have the car covered?

ESPRIT MANUALS

Thanks for the help and encouragement; looking forward to spring with this wonderful car!
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The low coolant may just be that the header bottle is not full. It is supposed to be full and the overflow bottle hidden in the RR wheel well is supposed to be filled to the cold mark. It can also be the low level sensor is all gummed up and the header bottle needs to be removed and washed out. Or a problem with the wiring or level switch itself. Probably low due to the radiator being replaced and there may well still be some air in the system. The bleeder is right on top center front of the motor, an allen screw. The wind deflector is a small separate fiberglass piece painted body color. To see what ECU is in the car you remove the cover over the R/H fuel tank or interrogate the ECU with a Tech 1. Even if the belts were replaced in '10 the tension should be checked sooner rather than later. FM reception is not the greatest with the Alpine unit and the Toyota antennae, an upgrade is worthwhile to get connectivity, satellite and nav. Save up for a Valentine 1 radar detector, driving shoes and gloves. Strange that you should need front shocks, are they leaking? I doubt the wastegates have been modified but anything is possible. Definitely find out if the ECU was modified from stock. The PO should know. The manuals out on E-Bay do not cover all aspects of the car. The V-8 manuals are basically updated 4 cyl manuals. You don't need them unless you are going to be doing a lot of your own work. Some special tools are required.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Just an adder to say I found the interior room OK, but not overly generous.

The pedal box width is similar to the Plus 2, and I didn't have a problem with running shoes, although boat shoes could catch the upper sole on the brake pedal. The lack of room for the left foot is a bit of an issue but livable; I usually have my left leg folded up while driving on the highway anyway. My legs don't interfere with the steering wheel, which was the issue in other earlier generation Esprits I had tried.

I tried the car with my helmet and just cleared the glass roof, so might have to put a small foam piece on the glass if I track the car. Didn't have to constantly tilt my head. A bit awkward getting in and out with the helmet on, but was able to remove it inside the car. Overall about the same as the Plus 2.

What I really like is the width of the interior and the seats. The reclining feature isn't really usable for me with the seat right back, but is welcome. Shifter position and wheel to seat distance are excellent.

Getting in and out of the Esprit is a bit more difficult than the Plus 2. I have the seat moved back about 2" from stock and a smaller diameter steering wheel; in stock form the cars are pretty similar. Just have to get used to avoiding hitting the steering wheel with right my leg and all good.

Over all I am looking forward to distance touring in the car. I suppose if you can distance tour an Elan you should be OK with the largest Esprit. The interior noise level is WAY better than the Elan, the air conditioning is a very welcome addition, and the power/performance is of course in a different league. I had the opportunity to sit in an Exige with lots of go fast bits last week, and I am sure this Esprit is a better choice for me and my intended use.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info David. I will check with the tech regarding the coolant bleed and level. He used to own several four cylinder Esprits, and didn't want to give me the car until he has this issue tidied up, which is great.

I didn't examine the shock yet, but the tech says one of the fronts is leaking. Rather than confuse things with the Porsche store, we discounted the purchase price a bit and I have to take care of the shocks after pick-up. As the car is working OK I was planning to get it done during my May tour.

Discussed cam belt tension with him. He claims to have the special tools to do the belt replacement if required. They are presently reported oil free and good, but I share your concern. If requested, he would adjust tension with a Porsche tool rather than the Lotus harmonic method. Thinking preferable to take the car to Richard in Vancouver in May; he is very familiar with the cars and does the job using the Lotus tools, and would replace belts if required, do the shocks, fluids, etc. Will have to check if he did the engine oil; he did bleed the brakes so assuming oil change is done but will check.

Didn't see the wind deflector in the trunk, but will take another look as didn't know about this item.

Would the tool kit be located under the front bonnet? I didn't look carefully for the jack, etc., which is a pretty big miss.

Already have the Valentine 1 and will have to figure out placement in the car. Might be a good idea to get a second wiring kit from Valentine. Do you mount near the rear view mirror, go with their remote kit? Car also has some sort of Laser jammer installed, but not sure about that deal and if it interferes with the Valentine. Got the gloves but I hear you on the shoes.

Will give the WSM some thought, but thinking for $20 or so maybe the CD solution is worth a shot. Although I rebuilt the Elan in my garage, I contracted out the difficult stuff such as diff, engine, body, etc. I am more of a parts switcher than a mechanic, and sure major work on the Esprit is beyond my capability and interest. Even the shocks would be contracted as I don't have a press and BTDT with the Elan, which is presumably a heck of a lot simpler than the Esprit.
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