The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus was a hugely competitive rally car during the early 1980s, breaking the mighty Ford Escort’s dominance. Tolman’s re-creation is designed to revive the Group 2 rally spirit, while adding a few modern touches to further boost the client’s enjoyment, as a road car or ‘track weapon’.
Tasked with building the ultimate road and race-specification Sunbeam, Tolman was glad to have a strong base on which to reinvent an authentic Group 2 rally machine, with an intact FIA-spec body and axles and a 2.2litre, 240bhp works specification engine but now fitted with throttle bodies, eight injectors, coil on plug and crank/cam sensors produces 260BHP through a custom ITG filter assembly.
For the duration of this non-invasive re-creation project, Tolman was primarily focused on preserving anything intrinsically valuable within the car, No parts were to have holes cut in or parts added etc. The FIA specification roll cage is a fully welded structure along with all the period shell modifications to accommodate the fuel tank, dry sump, large exhaust and batteries.
Under the original period shell are a plethora of state-of-the-art driver aids, including launch control, traction control, fly by wire throttle, multiple engine maps, three-way adjustable dampers with remote reservoirs and MoTec engine management, dash, power box and switch gear.
The Tolman Sunbeam Lotus also sits on 15-inch wheels to accommodate larger GT3 specification brakes all from AP Racing and the bespoke green and yellow paint job is a nod to Lotus’s own colour scheme, while the interior is fitted with a lightweight carbon-fibre replica dashboard and custom-made seats and harnesses.
The Tolman-prepared Sunbeam Lotus is a true and respectful reflection of the original rally machine that won the 1981 World Rally Championship, underpinned with some modern day driver aids to increase performance and driveabiity.
A modern day WRC Talbot Sunbeam Lotus.