1999 Lotus Esprit Sport 350


1999 Lotus Esprit Sport 350

Taking the V8 GT futher, the Sport 350 was one of the most exclusive Esprits made. It featured the standard-spec V8 with blue-painted intake manifolds. What set the 350 Sport apart from the VT GT was a number brake, suspension and chassis improvements.

Externally, a large carbon-fibre rear wing was attached. This wing was highly similar to the wing used on the X190R racecar. Indeed the Sport 350 had one of the most prominent wings to adorn a road car.

Lowering the kerb weight was a primary design focus for Sport 350. For this goal, special magnesium wheels were employed. At the time of manufacture, these were the lightest wheels availble on the market. Also reducing the weight, was a lightweight bodyshell. In total, the engineers managed to shed 80 kgs off the standard V8 GT.

Apart from the weight reduction, the other major change to Sport 350 was its braking system. Exclusive to the car are 320mm discs with blue-painted AP Racing Calipers. When Lotus engineers designed this car, they wanted it to be the fastest stopping Esprit. And it was. The car could go from 60 to 0 mph in just 3.2 seconds.

While exclusivity was offered with the Sport 350, it is ashame Lotus never tuned the engine beyond its standard specification. This is strange given the fact that every other aspect of the car was up-rated for track use. It was one of the closest cars to emulate the track experience on the road.

In total, only 50 Sport 350s were made, all having a huge 350 decal along the side of the car.

1999_Lotus_EspritSport3501

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
price $ $£64 950
engine V8
position Mid Longitudinal
aspiration Twin Garrett T25 Turbochargers
valvetrain DOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl
displacement 3500 cc / 213.6 in³
bore 81 mm / 3.19 in
stroke 83 mm / 3.27 in
compression 8.0:1
power 260.3 kw / 349 bhp @ 6500 rpm
specific output 99.71 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 280.32 bhp per tonne
torque 399.97 nm / 295.0 ft lbs @ 4250 rpm
driven wheels RWD
front tires 235/40 ZR 17
rear tires 295/35 ZR 18
front brakes Vented Discs
f brake size x 320 mm / x 12.6 in
rear brakes Brembro Double Wishbones w/Coil over Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
r brake size x 320 mm / x 12.6 in
front wheels F Brembro Double Wishbones w/Coil over Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar x 21.6 cm / 17 x 8.5 in
rear wheels R 45.7 x 21.6 cm / 18.0 x 8.5 in
steering Rack & Pinion
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Eibach Coil over Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Double Wishbones w/Eibach Coil over Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1245 kg / 2745 lbs
wheelbase 2420 mm / 95.3 in
front track 1520 mm / 59.8 in
rear track 1520 mm / 59.8 in
length 4417 mm / 173.9 in
width 1981 mm / 78.0 in
height 1150 mm / 45.3 in
transmission Renault 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.36:1, 2.05:1, 1.38:1, 1.09:1, 0.76:1, :1
final drive 3.89:1
top speed ~281.6 kph / 175.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~4.7 seconds