Before the Lotus Esprit became the Lotus Esprit…it was known as the M70. Penned by Giugaro (Italdesign) and quite a big step for Lotus as a company; It launched Lotus into the realm of supercars.
I have to say that the Series 1 Lotus Esprit is a pretty great looking car….and the M70 definitely looks like the purest expression of the design (obviously!).
Here are some original ideas thrown around for the M70:
(from Car Styling Magazine, April 1976: Lotusespritturbo.com)