To give it a presence in international rallying, Chrysler UK developed a high performance version of its hatchback Sunbean model in 1979. This move would eventually produced a car with plenty of character as well as speed. A deal was struck with Lotus to supply its twin cam four cylinder engine, but in slightly bigger 2.2 liter form to give improved low speed torque. This was matched to a five speed ZF transmission and a much stronger live rear axle. The shell, too, was modified for strength and sent down from the Linwood factory in Scotland, first to Lotus hethel, where the mechanicals were fitted and then it traveled across country to Coventry for checking and pre delivery inspection.Although announced as a Chrysler, by the time production had got into its stride all the company’s European businesses had been bought by Peugeot. Thus, all Sinbeams, Horizons, Avengers and Alpines were renamed Talbots, and this low volume homologation special became the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. The engine is capable of 2174cc with Monocoque chassis. It has full equipped disc drum brakes, with five speed manual transmission. Suspension is fully independent in front and rear axle.
It was a fast car, with fun handling and an aggressive personality. Top driver Henri Toivonen gave the model same well deserved credibility, when he managed to win the World Rally Championship in a Sunbeam Lotus.It proved too expensive to sell in large numbers, however. Only something like half of the planned 4500 examples was built.