In 1996 the Esprit V8 used Lotus' self-developed all-aluminum, twin-turbocharged (Garrett T3/60 turbos) 90-degree V-8, Code-named Type 918, in front of the same Renault transmission as before with no Chargecooler. Derek Bell developed an uprated gearbox that overcame a lot of the gearbox problems with a much thicker single piece input shaft. The Type 918 engine was detuned from a potential 500 bhp (373 kW; 507 PS) to 350 bhp (261 kW; 355 PS) to prevent gearbox damage due to the fragility of the Renault UN-1 transmission. In period tests, zero to sixty miles per hour came in at 4.4 seconds and top speeds of over 175 mph (282 km/h) were achieved.
Alongside V8 models was produced the GT3, a turbocharged four-cylinder car with the type 920 2.0 L chargecooled and turbocharged engine which had been used only in Italian market cars previously. In 1998 the V8 range was split into SE and GT specifications, both cars with a much changed interior configuration, both offering similar performance with the SE being the more luxurious of the two.
Esprit production temporarily ceased in 2004 with Lotus content on producing the Esprit with little development aside from minor cosmetic changes including a switch to four round tail lights for the 2002 model year. Currently, after 28 years, a total of 10,675 Esprits have been produced and a new version is slated to make an appearance nine years after the last one rolled off the assembly line at Hethel in February 2004.
Source: Wikipedia (original)