LOTUS ESPRIT ZR— 1

Price: $100,000 (estimated).
Birthdate: When George Foreman regains his boxing crown.
How to say it: “REE-surch praw-jeck.”

Putting the 375-hp Corvette ZR-l’s V-8 in a 2980-pound Esprit is like putting a Fermi II reactor in a go-kart. The ZR-l’s heads, you may recall, were originally the handiwork of the gentlemen in Hethel, which may explain the Brits’ overactive fascination with this particular lump of aluminum muscle.
The ZR-l-powered Esprit is easily identi?ed. So much mid-engine space is swallowed by the 5.7-liter V-8 that the car’s quarter windows have disappeared.

The Esprit ZR-l was supposed to be ?tted with fully active suspension. But Lotus has insisted all along that it won’t unleash its own active-suspension car until a client, presumably GM, does the same. Lotus’s Mike Kimberley has lowered the Esprit ZR- 1 ’3 status to that a “research project,” usually the kiss death — although he insists, in true Monty Python style, that it is J’aresting.”

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