Originally designed and developed by Chrysler in the United Kingdom, the 1979 Chrysler Talbot Sunbeam Lotus was designed to give the company more visibility, and credibility in racing circles, particularly rallying. Unfortunately Chrysler was no longer involved in the project when it came to fruition in 1979. Built in Scotland, it was shipped down to Lotus to receive its engine and other mechanical components, then to Coventry for finishing touches and inspection. It was a convoluted process that worked in every aspect save one: it helped make the car too expensive, meaning that only about half of the projected 4,500 production run were ever made and sold. Nevertheless, it was a potent performer, and won the World Rally Championship with Henri Toivonen at the wheel.
Unsurprisingly, the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus was powered by a Lotus engine, a 2.2-liter variant of the standard 2-liter engine designed to improve low-end torque and performance. It produced a scorching 150 horsepower, and was enough to power the car to a top speed of 121 miles per hour, and to accelerate 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. Pick-up and mid-range acceleration with exceptional, as well.
In the end, the 1979 Chrysler Talbot Sunbeam Lotus ended up being a very limited homologation production run, which is unfortunate, as it was a small and fun to drive car.