1998 Lotus Esprit GT3 – Only 131 built & one of 2 in Ruby Red – superb history
Lotus wanted to make the perfect ‘drivers version’ of the iconic Esprit… cue the GT3, considerably lighter than the V8 (by 150kgs) and powered by the turbocharged ands chargecooled/supercharged 2.0 L Type 920 engine which had previously been used only in Italian market cars. Couple that with the slick GTA gearbox, superb brakes and sublime handling and Lotus did indeed develop a true drivers car – even faster than the V8 on country roads. They produced just 169 GT3’s between 1996 & 1999, with only 131 RHD’s, and just 2 in Ruby Red, often regarded as the best Esprit ever produced, this example is presented in excellent condition all round.
The highly developed engine produces performance figures to shame more expensive supercars – 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds), 0-100 mph 12.9 seconds (0-160 km/h in 12.5 seconds) before reaching a top speed of 163.5mph (263 km/h).
A new light weight Kelsey Hayes ABS braking system developed for the Esprit enhances stopping performance and increases vehicle stability in extreme conditions while maintaining a progressive feel and exhilarating drive, and for those of you old enough to remember Pretty Woman… it does indeed corner like it’s on rails.
In the cockpit the centre console has been dramatically improved with the updated controls all within easy reach; the rare & desirable smaller domed binnacle and lower transmission tunnel give a more spacious feel than earlier Esprit’s and the optional V8 comfort seats, lumbar control, air conditioning, Alpine hands free Bluetooth sound system all add to the whole immersive driving experience this car gives you.
To add to it’s rarity, its been meticulously well looked after by the best in the business, with no expense spared, and a huge file to back this up – I think this is as good as it gets, it’s even been the cover feature for Absolute Lotus Magazine.
It benefits from the Modern Lotus designed suspension, known as LOTAC, with new springs and dampers developed for each line, retaining the feel of each model but improving the ride and handling using modern technology. This car is a super sharp drive, handling better than new, with every component of the suspension having been recently updated or replaced using genuine Lotus parts; it offers an incredible ride with the brilliant soundtrack of the 2.5 inch exhaust…tunnels highly recommended.
This is a rare car anyway, but what makes this one really stand out is how well, and by who, its been looked after:
• Lotus supplied LOTAC Bilstein dampers less than 1,000 miles ago.
• LOTAC Eibach springs.
• Full set of LOTAC bushes front and rear, including the ones usually skipped because you need to remove an engine mount.
• All new fasteners.
• Upper & lower ball joints.
• Full Geometry carried out.
• New aluminium tank.
• Output seals and gaiters.
• New oil pipes (front to back).
• Power steering pipes (front to back, including all fittings, rub nuts, bolts etc).
• Discs and pads.
• Weather seals to door glass, including channel, internal brush, external seals and door jamb rubbers.
• Refurbished door cards, new window regulators, pedal rubbers, windscreen surround.
• Wheel refurburbishment.
• New gas struts.
The huge & comprehensive file includes all supporting documentation for the full service history from new with Bell and Colvill or GST with 29 stamps covering every service, presented in the original Lotus green handbook along with a spare key. The latest Bell & Colvill service, including Cambelt, carried was out in January 2023 along with the MOT – it’s had all the work done and is ready to go.
Registration not included in the sale, should revert to original S74 LCF.
Inspection welcome, please contact me to arrange a viewing or a video call.
More photos to follow.
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Please contact us if you require further details or would like to arrange a viewing, we also offer virtual video call viewings and are happy to provide additional photos and videos on request.