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1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo with prototype active suspension heads to auction

In the 1980s, Lotus was developing active suspension for both race cars and road cars. Now one of the prototype road cars from that effort is up for auction in the U.K. with Anglia Car Auctions.

According to the auction listing, this Lotus Esprit Turbo was originally built in 1980 as a pre-production unit and loaned to the DeLorean Motor Company (which was getting technical aid from Lotus in the development of its DMC-12). Upon its return to Lotus, the car was rebuilt with a version of the active suspension system then being developed for Formula 1.

1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo active suspension prototype (photo via Anglia Car Auctions)

1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo active suspension prototype (photo via Anglia Car Auctions)

Lotus was a pioneer of active suspension, which, as the name states, actively works to cancel out body roll and other forces to keep cars flat through cornes. After buying the British firm, General Motors even sought to use a version of the Lotus active suspension system in the C4 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1.

No such system was ever used on a production road car from the company, however. While Lotus did deploy active suspension in F1 in the 1980s, the technology was truly perfected by Williams with its FW14B and FW15C race cars, with which the team dominated the 1992 and 1993 seasons, respectively.

1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo active suspension prototype (photo via Anglia Car Auctions)

1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo active suspension prototype (photo via Anglia Car Auctions)

The Esprit active suspension prototype appeared in car magazines and on a “Top Gear” segment, but soon outlived its usefulness and was left behind a hangar, seemingly destined to be crushed. However, an employee kept hiding the car, and management eventually decided to put it on display instead of scrapping it.

Lotus later sold the car to its current owner, who conducted a restoration that included work on the engine, transmission, wiring, and brakes. The paint and interior are reportedly mostly original, and the odometer currently shows just 6,492 miles.



This article was originally published by a www.motorauthority.com . Read the Original article here. .

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