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

type Series Production Car
production years 1971 – 1973
released at 1970 Earls Court Motor Show
built at Hethel, England
engine Lotus 2731E Inline-4
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
ignition Lucas 25D4 Distributor
block material Cast-Iron w/Aluminum Cylinder Head
valvetrain Chain Driven DOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Weber 40 DCOE 31 Carburettors
displacement 1558 cc / 95.07 in³
bore 82.6 mm / 3.3 in
stroke 72.8 mm / 2.9 in
compression 10.3:1
engine designer Tony Rudd
power 94.0 kw / 126 bhp @ 6500 rpm
specific output 80.87 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 177.97 bhp per tonne
torque 153.2 nm / 113 ft lbs @ 5500 rpm
redline 6500
body / frame Monocoque Fiberglass Body over Pressed Steel Chassis
driven wheels RWD
wheel type Knock-off Steel Discs
front tires 155×13
rear tires 155×13
front brakes Girling Discs
rear brakes Girling Discs
front wheels F 33.0 x 11.4 cm / 13 x 4.5 in
rear wheels R 33.0 x 11.4 cm / 13 x 4.5 in
steering Triumph Rack & Pinion
f suspension Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Anti-Sway Bar
r suspension Half Shafts w/Lateral Link, Coil Springs, Anti-Sway Bar
curb weight 708 kg / 1560 lbs
weight distro 48 % / 52 %
wheelbase 2133 mm / 84 in
front track 1193 mm / 47 in
rear track 1193 mm / 47 in
length 3683 mm / 145 in
width 1422 mm / 56 in
height 1168 mm / 46 in
transmission Ford 4-Speed Manual
tran clutch 8.5-Inch Dry Plate
gear ratios 2.972:1, 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 capacity 45.42 litres or 12 gal