WC Engineering > Technical Articles > Lotus Esprit ABS
Lotus Esprit ABS

In my opinion, the ABS on the 1991-1995 S4 Esprit is one of the worst systems that ever been installed on an automobile. I challenge anyone to find a single engineer that will admit without duress that they had any involvement in the design, development, or application of the system. If you enjoy a variable pedal height, inconsistent pedal pressure to caliper pressure ratio, unnecessary electrical load, noisy accumulator pump (carrying a spare liter of brake fluid), and not to mention excessive weight, then this is the system for you. If not, remove it and replace it with the brackets and master cylinder from a 1989-1990 Esprit.

I find it interesting that the system was used only on the federalized Esprit and not the European cars. I have no evidence, but I suspect that there may have been pressure from the US to add ABS (and the crappy airbag) to the cars to help comply with the safety waiver obtained to import the Esprit. I say this because I have a great respect for all the engineering and design skills at Lotus and I would be very disappointed to find out that it was actually their choice to include such a P.O.S. system to an otherwise excellent car.

As for the later Kelsey-Hayes 4-channel system, it is a great improvement. If you must have an ABS system, this is the one. However, for track use I wouldn't mind being able to shut it off.

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