here's how I made my decision.
1) I wanted an Esprit, and I wasn't trying to make it the fastest car on the street. So, to me, the V8 cars didn't make a difference.
2) I preferred the I4 over the V8 for ease of maintenance as I work on all my cars.
3) I knew I wanted an SE or S4 or S4s....but which one.
4) I always liked the original backglass look of the SE, but the open back looked great, too......that that didn't narrow it down.
5) the Stephens body always looked "tougher" to me than the Thompson bodykit, and I loved the way the X180R cars looked on the track......so, that had me leaning toward the SEs.
6) Wings........ for me the S4 looks great from some angles and weird from others.... and I really never liked the Hoop wing on the S4s and early V8s. The SE wing was subtle but fit the body lines so well. and then there were the rarer 93 cars with their larger, steeper Se style wing. I liked that one alot.
7) Interior...........I['m on the meatier side. 6'0" @ 250#. The redesigned Thompson interiors fit me better. With a longer torso, broad shoulders.....and a big rump......93.5+ cars were really the only choice for me.
So, there it was. 93.5 Esprit had what I was looking for.
Original Stephens body, great looking wing, more accomodating interior, and wider opening doors.
So, I kept my eye out for 93.5 cars.....and bought the best one I could find. totally original, very low miles. I have made some of my own mods for the car, but still have all the original items, too.