The Chrysler Sunbeam Lotus was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1979, but deliveries did not start until summer of that year. By this time, Chrysler UK had been sold to Peugeot who changed the name to Talbot. With the exception of the very first pre-production models, all road cars were officially known as Talbots.
The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus is a 3 door, front engined, rear wheel drive hatch back. Utilising the then new 2.2l normally aspirated 155bhp engine (Type 911) through a ZF 5 speed gearbox.
The production run was scheduled for 4,500 units. However only 2298 cars were build by Lotus.
The competitive rally car version of the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus was in 1980 the last 2 wheel drive car to win the RAC rally. It also finished 3rd and 4th that year. In 1981 it won the World Championship for Talbot.
A good on line source for Lotus Sunbeam information is the Lotus Sunbeam Owners Club site (see link below).
Other good sources of information are:
'The Lotus Book' book by William Taylor (ISBN
'Talbot Sunbeam Lotus' book by Graham Robson (ISBN 0-900549-93-9)
'Lotus Since the 70s' book by Graham Robson (ISBN 0-947981-69-1)
Please see below for the Lotus Sunbeam's statistics. Please note that the source of the performance data is sometimes official Lotus Cars data and sometimes independent magazine review data.
|Name||Production Years||Max. Power bhp||
Max. Torque lb.ft
|Top Speed mph||0-60mph sec||Comment|
|Talbot Sunbeam Lotus||1979-1981||155@5750rpm||150@4500rpm||121||7.4s||Road going version of the RAC winning rally car.|