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Lotus Eclat

Lotus Eclat
File:Lotus éclat 22.jpg
Manufacturer Lotus Cars
Production 1974–1982
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-door coupe
Engine 2.0L Lotus 907 Slant Four or 2.2L Lotus 912 Slant Four
Transmission 4 or 5-speed manual
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Successor Lotus Excel

The Type 76 and Type 84 Lotus Eclat, built from 1974 to 1982 by Lotus Cars, was a front engine rear drive coupe. It was based on the Lotus Elite but had a fastback body style which offered more practicality with storage in the boot (trunk), albeit with less headroom above the rear seats. The car was initially to be called the "Elite Coupe".[1]

The Eclat Series 1 (1974–1980) used a 1973 cc Script error: No such module "convert". Lotus 907 Slant Four engine. Later cars (1980–1982) used a larger 2174 cc Lotus 912 engine, however, because of emission regulations modifications it still only produced Script error: No such module "convert".. It did, however, produce more torque and thus improved the car's performance. Both were versions of the Lotus 900 series engine series, which was also used in naturally aspirated and turbo charged versions in the Lotus Esprit.

Early cars either had a four speed Lotus gearbox or the five speed gearbox derived by Lotus from Austin Maxi components. Later cars used a Getrag five speed gearbox. Some cars were fitted with three speed automatic gearboxes. The Eclat had disc brakes at the front, and inboard drum brakes at the rear. Air conditioning and power steering were offered as options. In the final model year, a "Riviera" option was offered with a lift out roof panel.

The car was well received by the motoring press, which praised the car's handling and grip. The fuel consumption was also considered reasonable at the time, in comparison with the larger and multi cylinder engines used in competitor GT cars.


The original mild steel chassis fitted by Lotus supported was accompanied by a strip of felt which fitted between body and the steel crossmember of the chassis. In damp climates, the felt became a water trap and caused structural corrosion, resulting in a crumbling rear chassis. Chassis replacement was initially not cost effective on the Eclat and Elite, and in consequence resale values suffered hugely. Series 2 cars were fitted with a galvanised chassis as standard and a large number of series 1 vehicles have had replacements fitted, which are usually galvanised.

Eclat Excel

In 1982, the Eclat was developed into the Eclat Excel (later badged simply as the Lotus Excel), which used the same engine, but a modified version of the chassis, altered bodywork, and Toyota gearbox, driveline, and brakes.

Surviving cars

As at 2014, 604 Eclats are still registered in the United Kingdom but more than half of them are listed as SORN.[2]



  1. ^ Robson, Lotus since the Seventies, Volume 1 (1993)
  2. ^

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