Introduced in 1977, the Sunbeam was a compact, modern-looking hatchback to compete with the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Escort. It had rear-wheel drive and a low weight, which made it perfect for modification. So, in 1979, Sunbeam approached the famed sports and racing car manufacturer Lotus to build a hot hatch that could go racing.
Soon, they presented the Sunbeam Lotus, and it was a fast car for the day. It had a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 152 HP, a specially tuned suspension and ZF close-ratio manual gearbox. With rear-wheel drive and Lotus-tuned driving dynamics, this car was a capable driving machine. In fact, it even won the World Rally Championship in 1981.