Lotus Esprit X180R Equipment

The X180R's Monroney window sticker (example from X180R #10) highlighted the most important competition-type equipment that makes the X180R homologation car such a special Esprit.

Casually looking at an X180R on the street or the Monroney window sticker it would be easy to gloss over all the special racing equipment fitted to the road-going X180R. While “racing type” and “competition type” features prominently in the options listed, hundreds of special parts and build deviations were fitted during assembly compared to standard Esprit models.

The following summarizes the technical specification pages from the X180R owner’s manual supplement which was provided with each of the twenty Esprit X180R homologation cars. Interestingly, the “foreword” in each X180R supplement provided with the twenty X180Rs was individually signed by Lotus Chief Engineer Oliver Winterbottom. For some additional detail, some items were updated with information gleened from Winterbottom’s internal draft specification sheet dated October 9, 1990, minus a few options that never made it on the homologation car such as racing harnesses and an oil pan baffle. While not everything detail is listed below, this highlights what makes the X180R truly special compared to other Esprit models.

X180R Homologation Car Equipment


  • Modified galvanized steel chassis to support fully adjustable competition suspension and high-rate suspension springs

Front Suspension

  • Revised lower link geometry to give zero dive or squat
  • Strengthened top links with shortened inboard pivots to give increased caster, camber being adjustable via rotating lock washers.
  • Spring tower strengthened with spring frequency raised 40%
  • Stabiliser (anti roll) bar tuned for neutral handling, running in solid bushes transmitting roll control via spherical rubber bushes in the modified track control arm.
  • Monroe shock absorbers with competition valving (revised settings), new rubber mounts and steel retainers.
  • Steering rack, standard component on higher mounts connects to revised steering arms to control toe characteristics
  • Ride height reduced

Rear Suspension

  • Top links modified to permit camber adjustment
  • Radius arm mounting bush stiffened 33%
  • Spring frequency increased 12.5%
  • Dampers with revised settings and new rubber and steel retainers
  • Hub carriers remachined to accept revised brake specification
  • Rear ride height lowered

Chassis Frame

  • Additional mount on backbone for the roll cage
  • Rear spring tower strengthened with roll cage mount
  • Steering rack mounts raised. (aka revised steering geometry)
  • Front spring tower strengthened
  • Front suspension top link pivot tube length reduced


Braking system totally revised and actuated through a Delco Moraine anti-lock system.

Front Brakes

  • 13 inch diameter curved vane ventilated front discs mounted on aluminum bells
  • AP Racing 4-piston aluminum calipers with 36/38.1 mm diameter pistons
  • Ferodo 3432 (asbestos free) high performance brake pads
  • brake cooling ducts

Rear Brakes

  • 11 inch diameter curved vane ventilated rear outboard discs mounted on aluminum bells.
  • AP Racing 4-piston aluminum calipers with 31.75 mm diameter pistons.
  • Ferodo 3432 (asbestos free) high performance brake pads.
  • Brembo parking brake caliper, independently mounted is cable actuated by a modified handbrake lever. System is self adjusting.
  • Parking brake pads asbestos free.

Vehicle System

  • SRF high performance brake fluid.
  • Revised pedal with non slip finish.

Wheels & Tires


  • 16" x 8.5 Revolution 3-piece alloy racing wheels
  • Goodyear Eagle 225/45ZR16 tires with unique internal construction (per X180R supplement)


  • 16" x 9.5 Revolution 3-piece alloy wheel
  • Goodyear Eagle 255/50ZR16 tires with standard construction


  • No spare tire fitted
  • Two “Fix It Fast” tire inflator cans (instead of spare tire) mounted with special brackets

Engine & Transmission


  • Blueprinted cylinder head
  • Matched ports to manifolds
  • Induction system silencer deleted
  • ACU condenser utilized as additional chargecooler (heater only vehicles)
  • Non-intercooled specification exhaust silencer with left side outlet


  • Renault 5-speed with strengthened competition-type casing
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Gear clusters have increased hardening specification
  • Special double-pinned gear selector forks
  • Provision for oil pressure feed and cooler (optional extra)
  • Speedometer drive deleted, system electronic
  • Increased heatshielding on selector cable


Standard SE body shell available with composite opening roof panel only.

  • Monaco White paint
  • Front air dam redesigned with rubber lower lip balancing lift front to rear
  • Air deflectors on leading edge of front wheel arches
  • Front fog lamps deleted to permit additional brake cooling
  • Rear competition-type wing mounted higher and more rearward
  • Turbo type rear lower
  • Exterior mirrors in satin black finish (aka “competition type”)
  • Reduced ride height
  • World Challenge decals


  • Steel tubular Safety Devices roll cage with braced bulkhead structure and door sill bars
  • Black, reflection free “Doeskin” trim fabric
  • Reclining seats with competition-type side supports
  • Perforated hide on wearing surfaces (graphite leather)
  • Center tunnel top with console and map pocket deleted
  • Passenger door grab handle
  • Simplified door trim with perforated leather inserts, ashtrays deleted
  • Anthracite grey lightweight carpet with all sound deadening deleted
  • Black low-glare instrument panel with 100mm electronic speedometer and tachometer
  • 225 mph speedometer
  • Tachometer rotated for improved readability
  • Digital clock deleted
  • Fascia mounted audio speakers deleted
  • Competition-developed optimized foot pedal locations
  • Revised non-slip pedals with aluminum heel rest and clutch foot rest


  • X180R owner’s manual supplement
  • parts vendor identification kit
  • standard Esprit plastic box tool kit and jack
Lotus had the right to brag about the X180R's first place finishes at Sears Point, Laguna Seca, Atlanta, and Denver. This advertisement occurred before the 1991 X180R homologation car was announced.