Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

Description

The Chrysler Sunbeam is a small supermini three-door hatchback manufactured by Chrysler Europe at the former Rootes Group factory in Linwood in Scotland from 1977 to 1981. The Sunbeam’s development was funded by a British government grant with the aim of keeping the Linwood plant running, and the small car was based on the larger Hillman Avenger, also manufactured there. After the takeover of Chrysler’s European operations by PSA, the model was renamed “Talbot Sunbeam” and continued in production until 1981.

Talbot Sunbeam Ti

The first performance version of the model, the Talbot Sunbeam Ti, was launched at the 1978 British International Motor Show. The 1.6-litre (1598cc) engine fitted to the Sunbeam with twin Weber carburetors delivered 100 bhp (75 kW) of power and 131Nm of torque. Visually, the car featured a sporty two-tone paint and body kit, and was stripped of equipment that would compromise its performance.

Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

Chrysler had also commissioned the sports car manufacturer and engineering company Lotus to develop a strict rally version of the Sunbeam. The resulting ‘”Sunbeam Lotus” was based on the Sunbeam 1.6 GLS, but fitted with stiffer suspension, a larger anti-roll bar and a larger transmission tunnel. The drivetrain comprised an enlarged 2172 cc version of the Lotus 1973 cc 907 engine, a 16V slant four engine (the Sunbeam version being type 911, similar to the “Lotus 912”), along with a ZF gearbox, both mounted in the car at Ludham Airfield, close to the Lotus facility in Hethel, Norfolk, where the almost-complete cars were shipped from Linwood. Final inspection, in turn, took place in Stoke, Coventry. In road trim, the type 911 engine produced 150 bhp (112 kW) at 5,750rpm and 203 Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. In rallying trim this was increased to 250 bhp (186 kW; 253 PS).

The Sunbeam Lotus was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in April 1979, but the road-going version of the rally car was not ready for deliveries to the public until after the rebranding, and thus became the “Talbot Sunbeam Lotus”. At first these were produced mostly in black and silver, although later models came in a moonstone blue and silver (or black) scheme. The car saw not only enthusiastic press reviews, but also much success in the World Rally Championship – in 1980, Henri Toivonen won the 29th Lombard RAC Rally in one, and, in 1981, the Sunbeam Lotus brought the entire manufacturer’s championship to Talbot.

Source: Wikipedia

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Additional information

Model

Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

Production

1979-1981

Segment

C

Doors

3

Layout

FWD

Engine Displacement

2172 cm3

Cylinders

L4

Induction

Naturally Aspirated

Fuel

Gasoline

Fuel System

Double Carburator

Power (hp)

150

Power (kw)

110

Power (@rpm)

@5600 rpm

Torque (Nm)

199

Torque (@rpm)

@4800 rpm

0-100km/h

7,7

Top Speed (km/h)

199 km/h

Top Speed (mph)

124 mph

Consumption (lt/100km)

12,8

CO2 (g/km)

Gearbox

5 MT

Weight

960 kg

Length

3840 mm

Width

1603 mm

Height

1404 mm

Wheelbase

2413 mm

Front Track

1329 mm

Rear Track

1342 mm

Boot Space

Tire Size

185/70 R13

Front Brakes

241 mm Discs

Rear Brakes

203 mm Drum