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The charge-cooled SE Esprit derivative was the most powerful variant with the most accelerative power and the fastest-selling Esprit to date, with 264bhp and 0-6mph in under 5 seconds. From its formal unveiling on 10 May 1989 to the close of its debut year, the 160mph Lotus Esprit Turbo SE recorded production of 563 units. This figure handsomely exceeds the production level of any previous Esprit, save that of the S1 in 1977, and then there were no alternative Esprit models to distract customers.

Naturally, this was the most expensive Esprit to date. The SE was launched in May 1989 at £42,500 (£46,300 some eighteen months later), which was then a bold thrust that took them closer to the 'starter' Porsche 911s than for many years. The SE did embrace a number of standard items of proven showroom appeal. These included a walnut burr fascia; leather trim; lift-out/tilt glass sunroof, and air conditioning. Do not despair if a red dashboard light comes on in chilly conditions, an LED ice alert was including in the SE fascia from the start. In-car entertainment was provided only in 'a radio fitting kit' initally and it is worth emphasizing that anti-lock brakes did not become available, optionally or otherwise, until the autumn of 1990.

The SE was replaced by the S4 in 1994 with over 1,600 rolling out of the factory gates. Updated in 1992 to the High wing it gained a new wing and lost the glass back. Very few of these were produced before the switch to the re-bodied S4. No engine mods were made in the SE's short history (1989-1993) and even ran the length of the S4 production.

Esprit Production Figures


Cylinders: Four in line
Capacity: 2174cc Bore/Stroke: 95.3mm x 76.2mm
Max Power: 264bhp/197kW @ 6500rpm (DIN 70020)
Max Torque: 261 lb ft/354Nm @ 3900rpm (DIN 70020)
Max Engine Speed: 7400rpm
Block: Aluminium alloy, Nikasil coated wet liners.
Head: Aluminium alloy.
Pistons: Forged aluminium, chromium plated crowns.
Valve Gear: Dohc, belt-drive four valves per cylinder Sodium filled exhaust valves.
Compression Ratio: 8.0:1
Turbocharger: Garrett T3 .63 with 0.42 Compressor, watercooled with integral wastegate.
Boost Pressure: 0.85bar maximum.
Chargecooler: Engine mounted intake chargecooler with independent mechanically driven liquid cooling system. Front mounted chargecooler heat exchanger.
Fuel System: Electronic multi-point fuel injection incorporating knock sensing and self-diagnosis capability.
Fuel: Unleaded, 95 RON minimum octane rating.
Ignition: Electronic distributorles twin-coil.



Max speed:

165 mph/265km/h
0-100 km/h/0-60mph: 5.0/4.7secs
0- 160 km/h/0- 100mph: 11.9secs
Fourth gear  
80-120 km/h/50-70mph: 3.8secs
110-150 km/h/70-90mph: 4.8secs
Fifth gear  
110-150 km/h/70-90mph: 6.5secs
140-180 km/h/90-110mph: 7. 1 secs

Type: Five-speed, all-synchromesh manual transaxle.
Clutch: Hydraulically operated, 234.9mm single plate diaphragm.

Ratios: Gear Ratio km/h/1000rpm
  5th 0.82:1 37.2
  4th 1.03:1 29.6
  3rd 1.38:1 22.0
  2nd 2.05:1 14.9
  1st 3.36:1 9.0

Final Drive: 3.889

Styled by the Lotus Design studio, the bodyshell is manufactured by the Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection process and includes Kevlar reinforcement of the roof structure. Removable glass sunroof. Front and rear bumpers manufactured from RRIM offering protection against minor impact damage. Aerodynamic rear wing mounted on tailgate. Engine air intake located behind the rear right-hand quarter light complemented by further ducting in the lower body sills for cooling. Warm air exits via cooling slats above engine bay.

Galvanised steel backbone, guaranteed against corrosion for eight years.

Upper and lower wishbones with anti-roll bar. Coil springs co-axial with telescopic gas pressurised shock absorbers.

REAR SUSPENSION: Upper and lower transverse links with box section trailing radius arms. Coil springs co-axial with telescopic pressurised gas shock absorbers. Aluminium hub camers.

Type: Rack-and-pinion
Ratio: 15.4:1
Turns lock-to-lock: 3.0
Turning circle: 10.97 metres (between kerbs)

Front: 259mm dia ventilated discs
Rear: 274mm dia outboard discs

Wheels:      Lotus-styled alloy wheels
Front:           7J x 15ins
Rear:           8.5J x 16ins
Front tyres: Goodyear Eagle 215/50 ZR 15
Rear tyres: Goodyear Eagle 245/50 ZR 16
Spare tyre: 175/70 R 14

Bolt Pattern: 5x108
Spigot Diameter: 60 mm
Front Offset: 23.3
Rear Offset: 30.0

Tanks: Centrally mounted twin tanks
Capacity: 16.0 gallons/73 litres
Capacity: Twin, electrically-operated fuel filler caps mounted on rear body flanks.

Stainless steel system incorporating two-part ceramic matrix catalyst, back pressure valve for rapid catalyst warm-up and acoustic exhaust muffler.

Front mounted cooling pack consisting of chargecooler radiator, airconditioning condenser and main engine cooling radiator. Two side-mounted oil coolers.

Polarity:        Negative earth
Alternator:    Valeo 90amp
Headlights:  Four circular 152mm units. Electrically-operated headlamps pods.
Foglamps:   Two square halogen high intensity units
Battery:         Low maintenance, 340amp cold crank DIN, 620amp cold crank SAE.
Harness:      'Ristex' thinwall cable.


  Imp mpg Metnc 1/100 km
URBAN 17.9 15.8
56 mph 36.2 7.8
75 mph 29.9 9.5
Fuel rank capacity: 16.0 gallons (73 litres)  
Fuel requirement: 95 RON minimum octane UNLEADED



The standard equipment for the Esprit SE includes: tilt/removable glass sunroof, air conditioning, electric windows, central door locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, three phase ice warning system, front foglamps. 'SE' full leather interior with polished burr elm instrument panel.

The Lotus Esprit SE is covered from new by a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty and 8 year chassis corrosion guarantee.

1993 US Spec Esprit SE

93MY Esprit Turbo SE
The 93MY SE was only imported into the US and limited to 62 cars. It has the majority of the 92MY changes but also included the following changes:

* A larger SE style rear wing, similar to the standard SE wing, but taller and at more of an angle.
* Except for commemorative editions, the 1993MY was the first USA Stevens' model without the glassback design.
* Revolution alloy 5-spoke wheels in painted black with a polished silver lip. These are one-piece clones/imitations of the 16" three-piece wheels found on the X180R race variant and street version limited edition.
* A front rubber lip spoiler to protect the underside of the front valance.

93-1/2MY Esprit Turbo SE
The 931/2MY (93.5) was a transition into the later S4 and was once again only available in the US. It included the following changes:

* Passenger side airbag
* S4-style interior with (slightly) more head, leg, and shoulder room. Window controls mounted on the center console.
* Flush, body-colored, vertically operating exterior door handles instead of the old black horizantal operating handles.
* Wider opening doors.
* A clutch line that routed across the front of the transmission to the passenger's side. The 93 runs straight back the driver's side.




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