This final-gen Lotus Esprit was so cool to see at Radwood NorCal a few weeks ago.

  • Car: Lotus Esprit S4
  • Location: San Mateo, CA
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (IG + Twitter: @16vPete)
  • Camera: Canon 6D, EF 35-85mm Zoom

The Lotus Esprit S4 was the final generation of this legendary little sports car, spanning ten-whole years, from 1994 until 2004. The Esprit nameplate itself debuted in 1976. Quick note: Travis Okulski over at Road & Track had one for a while; his was the spec I’d have.

I’m not sure which engine this one possesses, but I’m fairly certain it’s either the 2.0 or 2.2-liter turbo-four model. That’s part of the beauty of the Esprit: it was so tiny and light that it didn’t need big power to be a real riot. Though, Lotus still threw a tiny 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, 500 horsepower V8 in it later on anyway, which sent it to 60 seconds in just 4.4 seconds.

I love the look of every Esprit generation, and think it’s one of the best design progressions ever. The S4 was a brilliant final chapter in this icon’s run.