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Petrolicious Looks at Why the Lotus Esprit is an Unknown Supercar

Lotus’ sweet-spot.

According to Spencer Canon, he was drawn to buy his 1989 Lotus Espirt because of how little knowledge exists about the car. “The Esprit is not a well-known car,” says Spencer Canon. “Car guys know what it is, but they don’t know much about it—it’s a mystery.” On the newest episode of Petrolicious, the team examines Lotus’ hidden gem.

After Lotus ceased production of the Esprit in the early 2000s, the lithe coupe was shoved to the wayside in the wake of supercar offerings from larger manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini. Because of this, there aren’t many around, and a general lack of knowledge intimidates buyers before they can even sit behind the wheel.

Canon, who creates high-end carbon-fiber roadbikes under the Ritte Cycles company, was attracted to the Esprit for this exact reason. He acquired his Esprit in derelict shape. He spent months stripping the paint off the body, as the previous owner had slathered the coupe in sticky red paint. He repainted his Esprit in a unique powder-blue color that has proven to be slightly controversial with Esprit owners.

Since the Esprit was in such terrible condition, Canon decided to transform the Esprit into a representation of his imagination, or the physical manifestation of what he perceives to be the perfect car.

With a turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder, Canon’s Lotus sounds about as fast as it looks, with an addictive turbo blow-off sound accentuating the four-cylinder growl.

Take a look at the newest episode of Petrolicious in the video below.