Trending: Lotus Esprit GT3

Against the general trend, Lotus Esprit prices are on the rise again, with a particular focus on the Nineties cars.

Esprit GT3.jpg

T

he smart money here is on the Esprit GT3, a stripped-back entry-level model launched alongside the Esprit V8 in 1996. The latter promised a lot but didn’t quite hit the spot, and those V8 engines have their issues – especially when not cared for properly.

The GT3, in contrast, used a downsized two-litre turbo version of the long-running four-cylinder twin-cam. And though downsized, it still kicked out 240bhp, which is quite something in a car that’s around 100kg lighter than the S4 it effectively replaced. Some call it the best Esprit ever, yet just 196 were built. It’s a nailed-on classic.

Two years ago these cars were fetching not much over £20,000, but that’s all changed. You might pick up one with some miles on it for £25k, but in general prices range from the high twenties from a private seller to asking prices approaching £40k from a dealer for a low-miler.

In between and confirming those values is the ’98 GT3 recently sold by Classic Car Auctions for £32,190. That had done 56,000 miles with its sole owner. Don’t wait too long.