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Discussion Starter #1
From the 308 vs. Esprit thread

Can anyone point me towards a good 4cyl vs. 8cyl thread?

-Thanks!
I couldn't find a recent thread, but thought it was a good and relevent discussion so I am taking the initiative and started one.


As a rule, when it comes to buying an Esprit, I generally recommend for whatever is in your budget you should buy the most recent lowest milage Esprit you can. Yes I know there are poeple who only want the Guigaro bodystyle or only wany a Sport350, but for those who are simply looking for an Esprit, I think the above advice is a good starting point.

But on to the question at hand. I4 vs V8.

I have driven a variety of both and it comes down to power and tractability vs handling.

The 4 cylinder cars are lighter and handle better. The engine is a bit peaky and harder to keep on the powerband - not hard, just harder than a V8. The 4 cylinder engine is also more reliable in it's final form.

The V8 is more tractable - power comes on earlier and stays on longer. It is fantastice for highways.

Do not confuse my statements. I am not saying the 4 has no power and the V8 doesn't handle well. I am making statement of how they are compared to each other. I have driven the V8 on the track and it did very well, and the 4 is just fine on the highway.

For my money, from a collector and driving standpoint I would take an '87 - last year of the Guigaro, or an S4S - best of the 4's, or a Sport 350 - just because it is freakin' awesome.
 

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A number of people got into that discussion here not long ago.

For me, the V8 is the more enjoyable car, but I wouldn't kick a S4S or Sport 350 with a built engine out of bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A number of people got into that discussion here not long ago.

For me, the V8 is the more enjoyable car, but I wouldn't kick a S4S or Sport 350 with a built engine out of bed.
My mistake, I guess the thread title just didn't make it obvious. Thanks.
 

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From a style standpoint,I think Lotus did way too much with the late 4s and the V8 body kits.I think the SE style just looks alot more exotic,yes thats why I have one!Also the driving experience is more raw,race car like,which to me=FUN!!! After driving mine and driving a V8,I almost felt like I was driving a japanese import or something.Im not bashing them,it was nice,just not for me!And yes,give me the 4cyl in the canyon twistys anyday!!!
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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From a style standpoint,I think Lotus did way too much with the late 4s and the V8 body kits.
DON'T get me started regarding the rear wings. :no: :panic:

:D


Having driven both V8 and 4 cyl varieties, I think they are BOTH awesome.


The V8 feels and drives "heavier" but it has....MORE POWER. (At least in street driving)

:shift:
 

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I want an X180R.
 

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My car sneezes
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This is what I said on the other thread.
As with any Lotus, the final ones are the most reliable. So for a 4cyl, the S4S would be the best. For a V8, the 02+ seem to be the better cars with Final Editions being the best. Early V8's (97-00?) have been know for cyl liner failures. Lotus switched to a different sealant in the later years.

0-60 is very close between the 4cyl and the V8 due to the V8 making almost no boost in first gear (both stock and High Torque/S350 ECU's). Over 60mph, the V8 is loads faster eventhough the 4cyl may feel faster due to the laggy hard-hitting turbo.

Some purists say the S4/S4S are the most balanced Esprits;they may be. I say a well running V8 is a monster that demands respect and is very rewarding.
... So having said that, both the V8 and the I4 have models that are reliable and some that may not be.

Power, the V8 wins hand down. The highly restricted V8 and a well running I4 are very close but a well running V8 is no match for an I4. Mildly, properly modded (unfortunately there are many V8's that have not been properly modded and run worse than a good Final Edition) V8 is in a diff league than a mildly modded I4. Ask TheRedMenace what his take is on this.

Handling, the I4 is more balanced and is easier to drive while the V8 is a little scary to drive. So the V8 does require way more respect than the I4. Both can go around a turn very fast.
 

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After driving a 4cyl SE, it would be a while before I feel the need to even mod that. But speaking in the future tense, should the need present it self, I hear that I may be limited to what the transmission can handle (+-400hp) Ive seen an upgrade to help this, but is there a "cure" so to speak? Or know the limits of it? I read that v8's and the S4 use the same transaxle; just wondering what some of the more powerhungry members have done
 

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I think one thing speaks fairly clearly. There were a LOT more 4 cylinder Esprits than V-8's. Yet whenever I look at what's for sale at any given time, a lot more V-8's are for sale. Interesting.
 

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Personally I prefer the 4. It just seems easier to drive. The 8 has a lot of grunt and the ones with the cheese grater exhaust set up produce a sound like no other and are well worth the price of admission.
The 4's rev quicker and the throttle response both on and off seems quicker on the cars I have driven. The 4's also seem lighter in feel than the 8's. I have never been in an 8 on the track so cannot say how it feels in that sense, but the 4, once set up and sorted out, was very easy to drive fast and handled extreemly well.
From what I've seen at the shop over the past 17 years and 100k miles is that the 4's are not in for as many serious or major engine issues as the 8's.
I have seen at least three 8 Esprits in for engine replacements with almost no mileage to speak of and not once have I seen a 4 having to go a transplant.
I've been dealing with the same shop for 17 years and spend a lot of time there for various reasons so that past statement has some substance.
The best test will be that of time. What percentage of 8's reach the high mileage that the 4's have hit will be a good tell all.
This is all subjective and seat of the pants stuff, and without true statistical numbers just personal impression. But I will stick with the 4.
 

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Very interesting points there. Im gearing towards a 4, its lighter, and less stuff to go wrong *IF* it should so decide to. Havent seen specifics about the tranny constraints yet, but now Im wondering about the handling characteristics. By which I mean numbers. This was a nice look by posting lap times Esprit Road Tests

Does anyone have links or know say the slalom speeds, road handling Gs, ect... Im impressed to find that Esprit was running with cars much much more expensive. Seeing the data between varying esprit models would be great to see, as well as which suspension changes yeild what effect. Perhaps Ill start compiling all the data I come across. This seems to be the only data that Esprit World (somewhat) doesnt have...
 

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I think one thing speaks fairly clearly. There were a LOT more 4 cylinder Esprits than V-8's. Yet whenever I look at what's for sale at any given time, a lot more V-8's are for sale. Interesting.
No more interesting than there being a lot more C6 Corvettes on the market than C4 Corvettes. The V8 is a newer, very limited production car, stands to reason there'd be more in circulation than previous generations.

That being said, I wouldn't say there are a LOT of V8s on the market at any given time. The most I've seen is around ten.
 

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No more interesting than there being a lot more C6 Corvettes on the market than C4 Corvettes. The V8 is a newer, very limited production car, stands to reason there'd be more in circulation than previous generations.

That being said, I wouldn't say there are a LOT of V8s on the market at any given time. The most I've seen is around ten.
Whenever I do an online search, 2/3 or more of the Esprits for sale are V8's. I have never seen an even number of 4's and V-8's for sale at one time, yet I've seen times when there are no 4's for sale at all and 10 or so V-8's listed. There's substantially more 4's in existence than V-8's out there yet the 'for sales' trend the opposite. I won't make any attempt to justify that as I'm not looking to get some personal agenda fulfilled, I'm just stating what I've seen in hundreds of searches over the past few years.

Between ebay and AOL autos there are 53 V-8's listed at this time, and bite my tongue, the average isn't quite up to my guestimate but there are 39 4cyl's. I didn't have time to see if any were duplicates but that's a basic count of those two sources.
 

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it is getting harder to find parts for these things. it seemed that the front end and the read end of my v-8 didn't talk much in a corner, but it was a muscle car. get the best car you can afford regardless of displacement.
 

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98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
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I wouldn't say there're a lot more I4's than V8's. If you check both the production numbers between Stevens I4's and V8's. I would say there's only slightly more I4's than V8's. Of course I wouldn't add G-cars into the comparison because that's 11 yrs more of production. :)

Weight on Esprits (only 55KG/121lbs difference):

SE - 1305KG
S4 - 1320KG
S4S - 1325KG
V8 - 1380KG

V8's have some of the better technologies. The best suspension on the Esprit is the adjustable Bilstein/Eibach on final editions. The best brake on the Esprit is the AP Racing Brake on 00+ V8's & S350's. V8's also have wider rear tires (285's).

Based on the information above. I wouldn't say the V8 handles better than the I4, and I wouldn't say the I4 handles better than the V8. Similar weight and some improved components. V8's may be a little more scary at the canyons because of so much power behind you. It's hard to compare track driving because it also depends on which track, and I'm sure most people DID NOT drive both the V8 and I4 at the same track for a fair comparison. Besides, I don't think I4's will outperform V8's at Willow Springs.

I've seen 4 cylinder Esprits that became nightmares, and I've seen V8's that resulted in large repair bills, but that depends on which car you get. Getting a I4 doesn't guarantee that you'll pay less for maintenance and repairs. Getting the V8 doesn't mean you'll spend a lot for maintenance. It depends on finding the right car that's well taken care of.

Personally I prefer the V8 for 2 reasons. The exhaust note on the V8 is one of a kind, and the power is also superb. The I4 and the V8 might have similar performance numbers on magazine but in reality there is no comparison. PM me and I'll show you a video as a proof, and I'm sure you can already guess what the result is.

Yes there are more V8's for sale in the market right now than the I4's. However, if one day the V8's value drop to where the I4's are. I'm sure there will be A LOT less V8's for sale. Because it would be a better choice to keep the car as a collector item.

Lastly, style changes between V8 & I4's can't be judged because it's all about preference. Some may like the V8 body kit better, and some may not like the S4 wing. It's all preference. I personally think they all look good thanks to the wonderful designers for our Esprits.
 

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I wonder how fast I'll go???

I have a 1985 TE that's been having an engine transplant (almost finally done) and the new engine is basically an S4S engine with all kinds of work done to it. Stock, of course, that engine puts out about 300hp, and hopefully with the extra work, the target goal is 350hp. I know my car weighs about 2480 pounds as weighed on local scales, so that puts the ratio at 7.7 lbs per hp.

I know Gonzalo is eager to see my car back up and running.... it'll be interesting to see how she does against the V-8's. :)
Here is a pic of it. I did a lot of body and other changes to make it more hardcore from the standard G-car look :)
<img src="http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l192/amorphicaura/customLotusEsprit-1.jpg">
 

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Nice work on that 85. Looks stealthy and with 300 ponies will surely surprise a few.
I've got my 89 up to a calculated 250+/-. Looking to add an intercooler rig shortley which should up the ratings a bit.
Good luck with beastie and most importantly, enjoy the ride! :shift:
 

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Hi guys I have had a beautiful 89 Carbed Turbo and now a Sport 350. When I bought the 89 I loved it for was it was and represented. You have to remember in its time it was fast!!! But compare it to a later Esprit such as the V8 there is no comparison. Two different cars in every respect.

The Sport 350 got the best of all the goodies imo. the UK/Asia/NZ version cars got the hand layed lightened bodies, engine bracing for stiffness as an example. At normal speeds it just feels like a normal modern car. At high speeds though it needs more concentration, theres so much torque its crazy and so easy to spin the tires up :shift: It just seems to excite me more.

The only thing I didnt like about the 4 pot was the lack of torque esp on corners where constant gear changing was a must. The V8 has lots of lazy power and makes driving esp on long journeys more relaxing. When I did a big trip in the 89 I always felt quite tired getting out of it. The V8 I always feel fresh and want more.

Pics I took two weekends ago after completing 1000kms of driving bliss on empty roads. :D


 
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