The Eclat Series 1 (1974–1980) used a 1973 cc 160 hp (120 kW) Lotus 907 Slant Four engine. Later cars (1980–1982) used a larger 2174 cc Lotus 912 engine, however, because of emission regulations modifications it still only produced 160 hp (120 kW). Both were versions of the Lotus 900 series engine series, which was also used in naturally aspirated and turbo charged versions in the Lotus Esprit. The car was priced at $28,400 in 1979, which was almost as much as a Mercedes-Benz 450 SL ($28,687).
As of 2011, 1,024 are still registered in the United Kingdom but more than half of them are listed as SORN.
The original mild steel chassis fitted by Lotus supported the glassfibre body at the rear by sandwiching a strip of felt, which fitted between body and the steel crossmember of the chassis. In damp climates, the felt became a water trap and caused structural corrosion, resulting in a crumbling rear chassis. Chassis replacement is not cost effective on these vehicles (Elite and Eclat) and by consequence resale values suffered hugely.
Series 2 cars were fitted with a galvanised chassis as standard and a large number of series 1 vehicles have had replacements fitted, which are usually galvanised. The tainted reputation of these vehicles caused by rotting chassis (and other minor irks) has made surviving cars one of the best UK exotic sports car bargains, especially the S2's (or S1's which have been loved enough by a previous owner to fit a galvanised chassis).