The Lotus Eclat is a sports car built and sold by the British car manufacturer Lotus Cars from 1975 to 1982. It had the same platform as the Elite, but its fastback profile allowed for extra storage in the trunk, although at the expense of headroom in the back. The fiberglass undercarriage was a direct copy of the Elite's. The "Elite Coupe" moniker was one of the original options for this vehicle.
History of the Lotus Eclat
Colin Chapman sought to incorporate some practicality into the primary form of his cheap four-seat sports car, the Eclat. You may trace its lineage back to the Lotus Elite Mark 2, which was discontinued in 1983. As a result, it featured a fastback design that made it easier to stow things in the trunk. The Elite's front face was preserved when the GRP shell was redesigned in 1973. The car now had a slanted roofline that flowed into a typical hatch in the back. This invention was initially called the Elite Coupe but was later changed to Eclat. Lotus Cars produced the first cars in October 1975 and stayed in the lineup until 1982. The Eclat was remarkably similar to the Elite underneath the beltline. Still, it had a more traditional roofline, which was a huge benefit, especially for 5-speed cars that were well equipped (base Eclats used a Ford 4-speeder). In 1977, it was estimated at 160 horsepower. Both vehicles' frames were made of Lotus's signature tubular steel, and the seal between the frame and the body of the car was known to collect water and rot the frame in early models. S2 Eclats utilized galvanized frames, a huge blunder that wouldn't become apparent for a few more years. The Eclat, like the Elite, received high marks for its control, luxury, and speed. The Eclat was often cited as more agile and faster than the Elite, largely thanks to its reduced weight. The Eclat was sometimes referred to as the "2+2 Sprint" in the United States. In the beginning, the only color options for the Eclat were black and white, but there was also a more performance-oriented model called the Eclat Sprint. The Eclat was a cheaper and speedier competitor to the Elite, but only roughly 1,500 were produced, whereas they had 2,535 Elites. With the introduction of the Lotus 912 2.2L engine (based on the same 900-series engine architecture) and other refinements in 1980, both vehicles received significant upgrades. The Elite and the Eclat were given new "type" numbers, 83 for the updated version and 84 for the previous version, to reflect their improved functionality. Yet by that time, it was obvious that neither would become commercially successful. In 1983, both were phased out in favor of the Excel, an upgraded and modernized version of the Eclat.
In 1977, Lotus Cars retailed the Lotus Eclat with an original manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $18,755, which is around $91,858 in 2022.
Specs and Performance of the Lotus Eclat
- 2.0L Lotus 907 I4
- 2.2L Lotus 912 I4
The Lotus Eclat's 2.0-liter engine delivers 158 hp (118 kW) at 6,500 rpm and 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) at 5,000 rpm of torque. Lotus Cars marketed the Eclat as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle, and it was available with a 5-speed Getrag manual transmission. The Lotus Eclat accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 kph) in 7.1 seconds, with a top speed of 131 mph (211 kph). Dimension-wise, the Lotus Eclat measures 4,458 mm (175.5 in) long, 1,816 mm (71.5 in) wide, and 1,194 mm (47.0 in) high. Its wheelbase measures 2,438 mm (96.0 in) and has a curb weight of 2,326 lbs (1,055 kg).
Lotus Cars released the Lotus Eclat from 1975 to 1982. The Eclat and Elite were discontinued to make way for a more modernized model, the Excel, in 1983.