The Lotus Sunbeam Competition was built to satisfy homologation requirements so that ten ‘works’ rally cars known as the WRW 30S could by contested by Talbot/Chrysler in FIA World Rally.
Only 32 homologation cars were made and featured a competition engine rated to 234bhp with 48mm Weber carburettors and a high compression ratio. The same engine was tuned to over 400 bhp in competition to keep up with the Ford RS Escorts and Vauxhall HS Chevettes.
In contrast, the regular production model was rated at a modest 160 bhp, but still featured many of the hallmarks from the works rally and homologation cars. Under the hood was basically the same 2.2. litre twin-cam engine which was left over from the ill-fated Jensen Healey marque. Called the type 911, it had twin 45mm Dellorto carburettors, the famed 16 valve cylinder head, all-alloy block and 155bhp.
Around 3000 Lotus Sunbeams were produced on both the Chrysler and Talbot base models.