Two Esprit X180R “Type 105” race cars were developed by Lotus to race in the newly formed SCCA World Challenge series for production-based sports cars. After being successfully campaigning in America by Doc Bundy and Scott Lagasse, both X180Rs were returned to Lotus in Hethel, UK to be upgraded to the “Type 106” specification for the following season. Three additional “Type 106” X180R factory race cars were constructed for the newly formed LotuSport team to campaign in the IMSA Bridgestone Supercar Championship. Starting in 1992, the race cars were officially entered by LotuSport under a new model year as “1992 X180R”. According to Joe Grassi, the only X180R nicknamed during the time LotuSport was professionally racing the cars was “Christine” (he recalled it was #11) since the car seemed to have a mind of its own and was involved in several wrecks.
|Current Decals||Type||VIN||Engine||Raced By||Nickname||Last Known Location||Last Updated||Notes|
|#9||105/106||“Dianna”||Barber Motorsports Museum||2021|
|#10||106||SCC 52591001||LP 9108 9022259440||“Abby”||New York||2020||Maryland (-2020); New York (2020-present)|
Twenty road-registerable Esprit X180R cars were produced with almost all the racing equipment, including a fully integrated roll cage, with the bare minimum necessary to allow street registration (federally mandated air bag steering wheel) and provide for comfortable road use (radio, AC). Homologation requirements to race in IMSA’s Bridgestone Supercar Champsionship required that manufacturers produce and sell least twenty North American market cars with nearly identical specifications to the race cars, except for any required modifications to make the car legally comply with road registration and environmental regulations. Thus, Lotus was required to produce at least twenty X180Rs for the USA or Canada markets before it could race an X180R in the series. As a marketing strategy and to encourage customers to understand the intent of the car, Lotus Ltd. and Lotus Cars USA decided to brand the X180R as the World Challenge Race Replica Esprit, tieing their previous seasons race success into a way to hopefully move inventory of a very specialized car.
Note: During an internal pitch to European Lotus importers in late 1991, the internal binder for gauging interest for a European X180R model indicated Lotus had built an extra X180R demonstration car for potential customers to experience at their Hethel test track. Whether this “X180R” still exists is unknown.
|X180R Badge||Serial Number||Window Number||Delivery Dealer||Sold New||Last Known Location||Approx. Mileage||Last Updated||Notes|
|1||60262||missing||Lange Lotus (Dallas, TX)||June 1991||New Jersey||2,700 (2020)||2020|
|2||60061||Barber Bros. Lotus (Concord, CA)||April 26, 1991||California||13,304||2014||Appears to be the “first” X180R homologation car built, well before the rest of the series based on the VIN serial/sequence number|
|3||60241||Lotus Cars USA||Texas||14,200 (2011)||2020||Demo car for Ron Foster (Lotus Cars USA President)|
|4||60259||missing||Midwestern Auto Group (Columbus, OH)||Ohio||499 (2020)||2020||For sale 2020 by Curated; one owner from new until 2020|
|5||60260||Classic Automobiles||May 13, 1991||Colorado||25,126 (2015)||2020||Owned 1999-present by current owner; photographed by William Tayler for "The Lotus Book"|
|6||60264||New York||23,806 (2009)||2020|
|7||60265||Bayside Lotus (Seattle, WA)||Washington||4,476 (2015)||2021||Still with first owner|
|8||60267||Kensington Motors (Long Beach, CA)||Maryland||9,202 (2018)||2020|
|9||60269||Deal Lotus (Asheville, NC)||April 2, 1993||Ohio||1,913 (2012)||2021||Still with first owner; sold new on MSO from Deal Lotus Asheville (wholesaled originally to Ron Greenspan Lotus in San Francisco)|
|10||60270||12||Continental Motors (Hinsdale, IL)||New Jersey||2020|
|11||60272||14||Bayside Lotus (Seattle, WA)||Washington||10,472 (2015)||2021||Still with first owner|
|12||60273||Midwestern Auto Group (Columbus, OH)||Pennsylvania||22,185||2020|
|13||60274||15||The Car Company (Las Vegas, NV)||July 3, 1991||California||21,500||2020||Single family ownership from 1991 to 2018; second owner PA from 2018-2020; sold 2020|
|15||60277||Newport Imports (Newport Beach, CA)||Georgia||8,419 (1999)||2001||Previously owned by Zack Zacardoolas (won the 1996 Sprint Challenge Championship in a Lotus Esprit X180R); possibly now in Japan (#15 or #20 was exported in late 1990s/2000)|
|16||60278||Roger Mauro Imports (Denver, CO)||April 13, 1991||Georgia||13,000 (2014)||2014||Previously owned by Jack Ansley (LotuSport team owner)|
|17||60279||Scottsdale Lotus (Scottsdale, AZ)||June 22, 1991||Minnesota||18,500 (2005)||2020|
|18||60280||19||Swift Auto World (Sacramento, CA)||April 10, 1992||Washington||14,893||2021||First owner Eric Wells, SCCA Pro Trans Am/IMSA GTO racing driver (1991-1995); second owner (1995-2020); current owner (2020-present)|
|19||60282||Lotus Cars USA||Colorado||15,000||2020|
|20||60268||Autobahn Europlaza (Fort Worth, TX)||December 31, 1990||Florida||11,000 (1996)||1996||possibly now in Japan (#15 or #20 was exported in late 1990s/2000)|
The Esprit X180R Registry started with an original hand written X180R VIN to badge number list that was found by Matt Serwacki in the paperwork that came with X180R #5 when he acquired it from the original owner. From this initial minimal information, Ralph Stechow created a registry, writing down owner’s names next to them as he discovered where the cars were. In parallel, Kiyoshi Hamai, who worked at Lotus Cars Ltd during the 1990s and authored one of the first articles on the X180R, recorded original warranty information on many of the cars. With additional research in 2020 by Ryan Snodgrass, this registry has merged data from the existing X180R registries, and has been updated with additional information on locations and owners for many of the previously unknown cars.