Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Lotus unveiled the Excel in 1982, and it was a turning point for the British sportscar maker, with a great impact on its following models.
When Peter Stevens designed the Excel, he could only hope for the car’s success for a decade. Lotus’s idea was simple: design a beautiful body, use a great suspension to keep the car planted on the road, and drop a reliable engine inside. The theory was right, and it worked for some time. But every rose has its thorns, and every Lotus had its weaknesses on the reliability factor.
On the outside, Excel couldn’t hide too much its connections with the Lotus Eclat. The car’s front side looked the same with the pop-up headlights and the flat, sharp nose. Its lower bumper area featured a few air-intakes, the turn-signals, and the stationary lamps. It was the rear part of the vehicle that made the Excel different than the Eclat. Its taillights were still mounted low in the bumper, but they were bigger. A big wing-spoiler almost killed the rear-view for the driver due to its size. But it didn’t matter as long as the car’s exterior look better.
Inside, it was as cramped as its predecessor. It could actually fit four people inside, as long as they were not above the average height.
The biggest difference between the Eclat and Excel was under the bodywork. After signing an agreement with Toyota, the British carmaker got the five-speed manual transmission and brakes from Supra, plus broader, lower rear wishbones. The chassis was galvanized.