Each track is lap-based and consists of turns of varying degrees, as well as hills and hollows which slow down or speed up the car passing through them. Each turn is indicated by a chain of road-side signs, and the difficulty of the turn is reflected by the number and density of these signs. Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge was well received by the gaming press, which praised its feeling of speed, technical quality and two-player gameplay. The game in all its versions was rated around 80-90%. It was the only title in the series that was released for an 8-bit platform - the later ones were 16-bit only.
The graphics on the ZX (128k only) are nice and particularly detailed. Note that the game was ported directly to the CPC (the last using more colors) and looks better in quality than the C64 version! As far as the sound, the game offers a nice introductory theme and some nice sound effects of the engine throttle, wheel braking (although inferior to the C64).