Genuine vs Pattern Parts
What should you choose?
Lots of Genuine Lotus parts are going obsolete due to the low demand. Lotus suppliers are unwilling to produce the Lotus Spec. parts at low volume and sensible prices so Lotus Aftersales have no option other than discontinue it. Lotus have kept some original part alive for 22 years after it went out of production. Not a bad effort from Lotus, but cars are still out there and will need parts.
Lotus have to make a profit and the Dealers have to get their cut so genuine parts can't compete on price with the alternatives available. The alternative parts may not be to the original specification but will do the job. They may not have the exact specification but most owners do no care as long as they work.
In the case of the recently discontinued clutch friction plates the material and the damping may be different and they may not be as durable but the cars they are destined for are usually low mileage so no one is bothered about the durability or performance (including refinement) aspects. Lotus Specification Clutches have passed the Lotus Performance & Durability testing when first introduced.
This is how it is for Classic (old) cars these days. There are a lot of cheap parts circulating these days. Some are perfectly sound but others are extremely poor quality. Owners have to make up their minds on what they want to buy. Usual decision is made on cost, but maybe this piece will make you think about a genuine Lotus part in a different way.
It is really up to Esprit owners to source parts from where they want.
Every week parts are being discontinued at Lotus due to low demand and owners will have to purchase parts from other sources. The Genuine Lotus Approved part will disappear forever.