Vijay Pattni01 May 2012

Special ‘Senna’ Lotus Esprit V8 revealed

Commemorating Senna’s tragic demise at the ’94 GP is this V8 Esprit. In black and gold

Lotus Esprit V8

A moment of silence, people of the web: 18 years ago today, Ayrton Senna tragically died at the San Marino GP, changing the face of Formula One practically overnight.

His provenance is well documented; he was a three-time world champion and one of the world's most naturally gifted drivers. But you don't need us to eulogise over him some more, because of course, you've seen the rather brilliant film Senna, and Jeremy's tribute piece on the telly.

See more pics of the special edition Lotus Esprit V8

So, a German company called Cam-Shaft Premium Wrapping has decided to honour this rather tragic anniversary with a special edition Lotus. But this be no new Lotus, this be old-school Lotus. We're talking the Giugiaro-designed Esprit (for all you pedants, yes, it was later restyled by Peter Stevens and Julian Thompson). Good.

Naturally, these Cam-Shaft specialises in vinyl wraps, so the chaps' tribute Esprit gets a black and gold livery mirroring the one Ayrton had on his Lotus 97T - a livery proven to be exactly 97 per cent better than most liveries, on a car he picked up his first ever GP win in - as well as a reprint of his signature that adorns the front of the door.

And of great interest is the stuff lurking underneath. Cam-Shaft chose the later turbocharged V8 Esprit, and raised its pitiful 354bhp to a more sledgehammery 492bhp: as a result, they reckon this Esprit will hit 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds and rock on to 175mph, which is conservative, to say the least. Still, on paper, that's Mercedes SL63 AMG pace.

The old five-speed Renault ‘box was binned and replaced with a dog-leg six-speeder, together with AP Racing brakes measuring 330mm.

A tribute too far, or a perfect tribute to a bona fide Driving God?

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