Classic Car Catalogue

Lotus 1978


Great Britain

In August the Esprit become S2 with style and equipment changes in the cabin, more integrated front spoiler, different rear lights and wider alloy Speedline road wheels.



Elite (R4 cyl, 1973 cc, 160 bhp)
   Hatchback (wb: 98 in)



Eclat (R4 cyl, 1973 cc, 160 bhp)
   Coupé (wb: 98 in)

Lotus manufacture two four-seater long-wheelbase models with glass-fibre bodywork, the Elite, and the Eclat. The Eclat, like the Elite has its light-alloy 16-valve engine at the front, but the rear section of the body has a 'fastback' giving it a more sporting line at the cost of a little headroom. Both are 120 mph cars, and both come as standard with a five-speed gearbox but there is also a four-speed box on option, as well as fully-automatic transmission. Interiors are well-trimmed, and instrumentation is lavish. Performance of both models is way above the norm for cars of only two litres. Almost 75 percent are exported.

London report



Esprit (R4 cyl, 1973 cc, 160 bhp)
   Coupé (wb: 96 in)

Esprit S2

LOTUS ESPRIT S2 £1 1,124
Latest edition of the 140 mph two-seater Esprit has modified front air-dam to improve high-speed stability, and wider-rimmed light-alloy road wheels. The S2 version of the ultra-fast mid-engined Lotus can be recognised by the external air ducts behind the rear windows. The offside air-scoop feeds forced air to the centrally-mounted two-litre twin ohc 16-valve engine, resulting in more power. The 0-100 mph acceleration is now claimed to take 19.4 seconds. The glass-fibre wedge bodywork is made by Lotus but was styled by Italian Giugiaro. Esprit wheelbase is shorter than its stablemates, the Elite and Eclat models.

London report


78 (F-1) (Ford-Cosworth DFV, V8 cyl, 2993cc) - discontinued
79 (F-1) (Ford-Cosworth DFV, V8 cyl, 2993cc) - new model
  Mario Andretti (5)
  Ronnie Peterson (6)
  Jean-Pierre Jarier (55)

1st (M. Andretti) Argentinian GP (Lotus 78)
1st (R. Peterson) South African GP (Lotus 78)
2nd (M. Andretti) US West GP (Lotus 78)
1st (M. Andretti) & 2nd (R. Peterson) Belgian GP (Lotus 79)
1st (M. Andretti) & 2nd (R. Peterson) Spanish GP (Lotus 79)
3rd (R. Peterson) Swedish GP (Lotus 79)
1st (M. Andretti) & 2nd (R. Peterson) French GP (Lotus 79)
1st (M. Andretti) German GP (Lotus 79)
1st (R. Peterson) Austrian GP (Lotus 79)
1st (M. Andretti) & 2nd (R. Peterson) Dutch GP (Lotus 79)
Drivers F-1 World Champion (M. Andretti)
Constructors F-1 World Champion (Lotus 78/79)

Lotus 79 (John Player Special Mk. IV) with refined 'ground effect' design was launched at the Belgian GP won by Mario Andretti.

Monza : Team Lotus '78 world champion. Mario Andretti (WC), Ronnie Peterson, Colin Chapman and Lotus crew photographed with the famous constructors world champion Formula One Lotus 79.

Entries and results:
24h Le Mans 11.06.1978 Entrant: Results:
#       gen. category class
50 Esprit S1 Jenvey/Morrison Morfe Racing dns Gr.5 2.0 -