The Low Lotus Returns

Back in 2012, we featured a rather unconventional Lotus Esprit build that brought mixed reaction among readers. Since then, owner Dean Meeson has made good on his plan to drop an Alfa Romeo V6 in the Esprit’s engine bay, and In Motion Media has just released this short film showing the new and improved Lotus.

Will opinions be swayed? Does this just take the car from ‘unconventional’ to ‘crazy’? Take a look at the clip then let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike

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That is way cool! The body of a stock Esprit never really make me love the car, but now, after 30 years sitting this low .... well, you could never go wrong. So so cool.
Regarding the engine I don't know if I like it or not but I love the fact that somebody is moving something in supercar swaping department. It seams that swaping an engine is still something you do with a cheap car or race car and nobody is touching Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus or McLaren. So, yeah, sounds great.


They swapped in a V6 then gave us almost no engine noise :(. Love the car, and the build. It's got to be the coolest way to daily an (almost) 30 year old car.


Not much actual sound but what there was was niiiiiice


At least it isn't a ls


I've had the real pleasure of seeing this car at local events in Worcestershire (UK) and simply love it. Was surprised and delighted to spot the Alfa engine swap when I saw it most recently at the Retro Rides event at Shelsley Walsh.


My obvious love for this is obvious.


it looks amazing, sorta reminds me of a old lambo


lose this car, just needs the louvered rear window


love this car, just needs the louvered rear window




Awe Inspiring!! incredible build, one of a kind in the fullest sense. Well done, we need more builders like you in the scene.


Another amazing project that made my day!


Sexy....might just be my dream car, less the air-ride and Alfa motor


I think it's an amazing car. One of a kind.


alfa v6 looks amazing in there and sounds even better!


its on airbags? gross


Awesome idea, and good execution.  Looks great......
The wheels are ugly.
Airbags on a Lotus like this is just dumb, but what do you expect from an owner who dresses like Ken Block.
The video sucks because it's all vapid music and no Alfa song.


Low Lotus is low. Brilliant car, brilliant engine. It's having an alfa without rust worries, or a 70/80s lotus without the gasket problems. Love it!


mylesofsmyles So... you like the Lotus Esprit?


zziro You're pretty judgmental for a guy that pretends to be a purist.


zziro You're pretty judgmental for a guy that pretends to be a purist.


zziro Agree, awesome idea and execution.....
The wheels are good.
Jealousy gets you nowhere.
Make a better video yourself then with better music and better content.

Gators gonna gate.....

23 of my favorites. I would love an early example, like this or a early Turbo. I love the wheels, but can't agree with the Alfa motor...that old lotus motor has strong potential...I'd have left it and massaged some more power out of that 917.
Air ride is not for me...some silly stance nation stuff to sorta have your cake and eat it too. I build my cars to drive.


@Diego zziro I know, I'm bad about that.  I always have something to complain about.
Not sure what it means to pretend to be a purist, but I know what I like and what I dislike.


@Diego zziro I know, I'm bad about that.  I always have something to complain about.
Not sure what it means to pretend to be a purist, but I know what I like and what I dislike.


Flawless victory.


Love Love Love . Who down there said put louvers on it?!.. Don't hide that engine. I really like this. I remember this car from Grand Turismo 2. Nice work..  although watching that vid. it handles weird, slight bumps in the road/carpark and its bouncing like a school bus?? is it just me?


@LowFairladyNZ That was the only funky thing I noticed as well.  The car looks like it should handle being so low profile, but the air ride system might kill the cornering.  It's probably on bags vs. other higher end options out there.  On the other hand, it looks and sounds like a 10!


I love the unusual engine conversion. The ITB's really finish the car off nicely. It would be the best weekend car... The sounds and performance, eye catching yet subtle and classic looks, decent handling, and functionality with the air-bag suspension.


Music is always an acquired taste in car videos but one thing you can't deny is the camera work and editing is spot on ;)


the excessive rear camber looks stupid. Otherwise I like it.


K's D1RGE EXE zziro when the OP downgraded to saying the car was dumb and the Ken Block insults thats where I detected the root of his protest. It's called reading between the lines. 
The OP's post just sounded pissy.  I was just poking him.


awesome looking build, very well done


zziro I'm confused, if you say "Awesome idea, and good execution.  Looks great......But the wheels are ugly and Airbags on a Lotus is just dumb" then what do you find awesome and good looking? The bags and wheels are almost the entire visual statement of this car, the rest is just stock. And if all you like is the droop worthy engine swap then just say, "I only like the engine swap".... btw what's an Alfa song?


D1RGE EXE K's zziro Yah, but what you just said was stupid so i was trying to understand what you meant.


The "LOWtus"


Lord in heaven WHY?!?!?!
This is just ridiculous on all fronts, to ruin an awesome Lotus like this...


Rather have the glorious engine sound than the random tunez


@flushpoke zziro
"Alfa song" is the glorious howl of one of the best sounding engines... Ever. Something we were denied in this video unfortunately. 
I can never understand that... Why can't you have at least few pulls/revs, just so we can enjoy the sound of this great setup?


I definitely dig it. Good video edit. I like how its out of the norm, yet seems so perfect for what it is. -Kevin


Fucking awesome. Especially since all the purists cry about it.


I hate air. I hate most non-manufacturer motor swaps (think LSx in an RX-7). I hate stance. But WOW. That car is amazing. Incredible job. The presence is perfect. The stacks in the rear glass. The interior retrim. The split Compmotives. What a perfectly mad car.


I hate air. I hate most non-manufacturer motor swaps (think LSx in an RX-7). I hate stance. But WOW. That car is amazing. Incredible job. The presence is perfect. The stacks in the rear glass. The interior retrim. The split Compmotives. What a perfectly mad car.


Last thing I want is to correct a purist...
But Lotusesesses (Loties? Loty?) anyway... What does a Lotus engine look like?
Because, Lotus has used a SBC, Toyota engines... you see where I'm going with this.
There's no non-manufacturer swap when it comes to Lotus, only engine swaps.


DoBeriault RickN

Considering that that S1-S2 Esprit came with a Lotus 900 engine variant (which was a total Lotus developed engine), you kind of missed the point. Besides, by "non-manufacturer" I was referring to a bespoke engine conversion, never intended by the original make. Hence my reference to a SBC in a RX-7 as an example. ;)


love the car love the swap but that thing bounces all over the place id ditch the air ride.


DoBeriault RickN Actually the Esprit had an engine built by Lotus if memory serves me right. 

Side note: this car is an disgrace to everything lotus stands for.


What a car! I've loved these things for years but this one takes the cake. I also love the garage intro on the video with the pop up headlights... weak in the knees. The grinding on the truck scene was distracting though and did not add to the video imo.


I'm all for a perfectly restored classic and the Esprit is definitely a classic but... well, even a standard Esprit is attention grabbing to say the least. This thing is like a spaceship ... you can't look away. Beautifully finished and detailed.


kphillips9936 hater-train incoming!  its not ruind. you can easily put this back to stock. and if you cant, well.. you shouldnt be around cars.


zziro dude... calm your tits


"ooh this is wrong, i dont like that, gosh i hate those rims, bags on a lotus!? you ruined it! " holy fuck.. the owner didnt build it to please you did hi!? this thing is epic!


this car is amazing, makes me jawdrop. but, i want to gave him a note:
1. reduce that bounce.
2. give the front wheel a little bit camber. reduce the rear camber.
3. a race seats with leather cover is nice addition.


Your car must look like everyone else's


There's a hater train a comin' , its rollin round the bend, and I ain't laughed my ass off since I don't know when. I'm on my phone just watch, and it's just getting good. (Say this to folsom prison blues rythm)


EMyrdal kphillips9936 Put it back to stock? When the frame and everything underneath has taken a beating. Kids like you shouldn't even be around cars.
Take an awesome ride like this and first thing on the list is, yes that's right air ride and a stupid, frame breaking rear camber. Oh and let's not forget the mesh wheels(that's original) though it could've been A LOT worse and toss on some Vossens' since those always compliment bags these days. 

Call me what you will but I love the performance and power part of the car world, not these glammed, slammed and bagged monstrosities that can't make it in or out of a drive way without special maneuvering. I enjoy DRIVING my cars, not dragging them on their bellies!


Kids like me? I bet you im old enough to be your dad son. And that is your opinion. In my opinion, people who can't appreciate other people's hard work and dedication should just keep their mouths shut. This includes people as narrow minded as you.
Do you even know what the frame on this car looks like? Do you know for a fact that it's bad? Or do you just assum that like every other stance hating MoFo? Mesh wheels like this compliment the car perfectly. Sets it apart from every single other one of these cars..
And if you don't like this 'glammed, slammed and bagged monstrositys' you should just look away when something like this gets posted and not whine like a little bitch about it. Sincerely, every other car guy on the planet.


You can tell by the way I want it stock, I'm a purist man, no time for this... go home purists


I bet you go to the dealership for your oil changes


If you hate air so much, hold your breath and don't be negative, have a nice day nancy


CabbyMatt why on earth would you think that? i could never afford a new car that requiered me going to a dealership to get the oil changed :p like other car guys, i do my own maintenance. recently change the timingbelt and waterpump on my daily.. so im sorry, no chicken dinner for you ;)


Seems the YouTube video is gone. Here it is on Vimeo -


Well, here it is the wonderful world of internet tough guys and worthless comments of negativity.

People always seems to have an opinion and rightfully so, however these opinions may conflict with others. But at the end of the day someone put there hard earned money, blood sweat and tears into this car, YES, SOME SAY YOU WRECKED A BEAUTIFUL CAR.... But this is where you are WRONG. This car was not made to please you, in fact this car wasnt meant to please anyone but the owner. It doesn't matter if you can build a car with your eyes closed or you need to pay someone because you don't know much about cars. BUT WE ARE ALL CAR PEOPLE, WE ALL HAVE A LOVE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY and that is why we are on this website

I work in a high end car dealership, where we deliver everything from (3) Mclaren P1s already and (4) 918 spyders   in the past 6 months and countless other works of art, from original shelby cobras, to Ferrari Dinos, to lotus to full on collectable race cars. However, if there is one thing I have learned, every person wants to make something their own and we will help them make their dreams come true. This is WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS RANT. There is holy grain on how to building a car, there is your way, they way that make you happy and makes you feel like a kid again when you get inside your car.

So when your commenting, maybe you should take all of your ideas and opinions and shove them up your .... because this isn't your car :)


The Lowtus....


Needs mohr LOW.