1971→1973 Lotus Elan Sprint DHC


1971→1973 Lotus Elan Sprint DHC

Lotus Elan Sprint DHC

In 1971 Lotus released the Sprint as the ultimate Elan. It used the big-valve cylinder head in conjunction with striking paint schemes that cerebrated the success of Lotus Players F1.

The Sprint followed four series of Lotus Elans that were a major commercial success for Lotus. At the 1970 Earls Court Motor Show Lotus announced the Sprint model

Key to the Sprint was the big valve engine which produced 126 bhp thanks to its D camshaft and 10.3:1 compression. This was developed by Tony Rudd in only 10 days.

The Sprint also came with all the S/E features such as knock-off wheels (painted black), inertial-reel seat belts, servo-assisted brakes, nylon-pile carpets and a leather-covered steering wheel.

Many Sprints were imported to the United States as ‘Federal’ cars. These used Stromberg carburettors instead of Webers which necessitated a large power bulge on the hood.

Most sprints came with the Gold Lacquer bumpers. Standard colors were Cirrus White, Carnival Red, Pistachio Lime Green, Colorado Orange, Maroon, Metallic Lagoon Blue, Metallic Ford Tawny and Lotus Yellow.

Corresponding with the Lotus F1 Championship win in 1972, a redesigned badge was fitted from November 1972 onwards.

In Detail

typeSeries Production Car
production years1971 – 1973
released at1970 Earls Court Motor Show
built atHethel, England
engineLotus 2731E Inline-4
positionFront, Longitudinal
aspirationNatural
ignitionLucas 25D4 Distributor
block materialCast-Iron w/Aluminum Cylinder Head
valvetrainChain Driven DOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feedWeber 40 DCOE 31 Carburettors
displacement1558 cc / 95.07 in³
bore82.6 mm / 3.3 in
stroke72.8 mm / 2.9 in
compression10.3:1
engine designerTony Rudd
power94.0 kw / 126 bhp @ 6500 rpm
specific output80.87 bhp per litre
bhp/weight177.97 bhp per tonne
torque153.2 nm / 113 ft lbs @ 5500 rpm
redline6500
body / frameMonocoque Fiberglass Body over Pressed Steel Chassis
driven wheelsRWD
wheel typeKnock-off Steel Discs
front tires155×13
rear tires155×13
front brakesGirling Discs
rear brakesGirling Discs
front wheelsF 33.0 x 11.4 cm / 13 x 4.5 in
rear wheelsR 33.0 x 11.4 cm / 13 x 4.5 in
steeringTriumph Rack & Pinion
f suspensionWishbones w/Coil Springs, Anti-Sway Bar
r suspensionHalf Shafts w/Lateral Link, Coil Springs, Anti-Sway Bar
curb weight708 kg / 1560 lbs
weight distro48 % / 52 %
wheelbase2133 mm / 84 in
front track1193 mm / 47 in
rear track1193 mm / 47 in
length3683 mm / 145 in
width1422 mm / 56 in
height1168 mm / 46 in
transmissionFord 4-Speed Manual
tran clutch8.5-Inch Dry Plate
gear ratios2.972:1, 2.010:1, 1.397:1, 1.000:1
top speed~194.69 kph / 121 mph
0 – 60 mph~6.5 seconds
0 – 100 mph~19 seconds
fuel capacity45.42 litres or 12 gal