The Lotus Eclat is a front engine rear drive coupe automobile built from 1975 to 1982 by Lotus Cars. The Eclat and second-generation Elite are the missing links in the Lotus story, just about always forgotten, overshadowed by their more glamourous Esprit and Elan siblings. These were the cars that were intended to take Lotus upmarket, available only as relatively costly fully-built cars that were supposed to be more sophisticated as well as more stylish than their predecessors. The Elite, which was the first to arrive in 1974, was certainly a hit at first; it won the acclaimed Don Safety Trophy thanks to its tough construction. The Elite, codenamed M50, was launched in May 1974 to replace the Elan. Fitted with a 1973cc version of the all-new 16V twin-cam ‘907’ Vauxhall derived engine, press reaction was favourable – until it reached America! The Americans weren’t too complimentary about the car’s practical but quirky styling so Colin Chapman came up with the Eclat, which was soon launched in October 1975. Known internally as the M52, the new car featured a separate boot rather than something between a hatch and an estate as seen on the Elite. It was effectively the same car but with a more traditional coupe roofline. It was also 45kg lighter than the Elite. The
Oliver Winterbottom-penned and exceptionally wedgy Éclat had more mainstream appeal even if it was less practical than the Elite, although that could have been as much about the lower list price. This wedgy styling is a must for all 70’s fans and the Eclat on offer here is a time warp example with just 25K miles on the clock.