Racing cars

Lotus Exige Special Editions pay homage to classic racing cars


With a pedigree and a heritage like no other, Lotus today unveiled two unique Celebration cars, the Exige Type 49 and 79, at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​to pay tribute to some of the world’s most recognizable racers. history of the British brand and its 70e birthday.

Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars were handcrafted by Lotus Exclusive as a tribute to Lotus’ 70e anniversary, and anniversaries of the victory of two historic racing cars that helped define the brand as one of the greatest automotive brands of all time. On display and in action during the four-day Festival of Speed ​​weekend, with the Exige Type 49 competing in the timed supercar races on Saturday, they are a fitting tribute to one of the founder’s pioneering and entrepreneurial spirits. from Lotus.

In 1948, Colin Chapman built his first competition car, in a small closed garage in London, following his own theories to improve performance. He formed Lotus in 1952 and from there the company continued to innovate in road and racing engineering. Forever changing the nature and intent of automotive design, Chapman was at the forefront of a new way of thinking and his concepts are as relevant today as they were 70 years ago.

Speaking about the unveiling and the company’s 70th anniversary, Group Lotus CEO Mr. Feng Qingfeng said: “Lotus is an iconic British brand and its contribution to the world of motorsport and to the development of sports cars such as we know it. them today, is undeniable. Being able to unveil our Celebration Exiges at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​is truly historic, especially since the cars that inspired them are also on display and in action here. These Celebration cars are a fitting tribute to our past, but they reflect our future and show that we still stand by our principles in building the best luxury sports cars.

In addition to 2018 marking the anniversary of the birth of Lotus, this is a milestone for two historic racers. With the two unique cars containing the brand’s DNA, the Exige Type 49 marks 50 years since Graham Hill won the Drivers ‘and Constructors’ Championship in the Lotus Type 49. The Exige Type 79 salutes the 40 years since Mario Andretti won his world championship and Lotus the constructors’ championship on the Lotus Type 79.

The Type 49 and 79 are just two of the cars that helped build Lotus’ reputation in competition. In Formula 1 alone, it has more than 475 Grand Prix starts, with 79 victories and 7 world championships. In addition to the laurels won in Grand Prix, Lotus has successfully participated in the Rally, Le Mans, Indy and sedan categories around the world.

A celebration of cuts

Far from being fair for show, the Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars from Lotus Exclusive deliver phenomenal performance in one of the best chassis designs of all time. Based on the craziest incarnation of the Exige the Cup 430, the Type 49 and 79 set the fastest time for a road car on the sacred Lotus Hethel test track, covering 2.2 miles in just 1 minute 24.8 seconds. Showing its potential, the Exige Type 49 heads to the Hill for Festival weekend, with demonstration races over all four days and a time trial sprint in the Supercar Timed Race on Saturday afternoon.

Using a specially designed compressor and charge cooler for the powerful engine, the Exige Type 49 and 79 deliver 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,000 rpm. 0-60 mph is demolished in just 3.2 seconds (0-100 km / h in 3.3 seconds) before reaching a top speed of 180 mph (290 km / h).

As the leader in lightweight sports cars, the Type 49 and 79 maximize the benefits of the latest technology and advanced materials to weigh just 1,056 kg in their lightest configuration, giving Celebration cars a power / weight of 407 hp. /tonne. In addition to reducing mass, carbon composite body panels also provide cars with distinctive styling and aerodynamic setup. High-gloss visible woven components include the front splitter, front clam, air knives, unique bargeboards, roof panel, tailgate, straight cut fender and diffuser surround.

Aerodynamically advanced, the cars deploy up to 220 kg of downforce thanks to careful management of the airflow under and above the car. Air curtain elements and louvers in the front clam panel effectively regulate turbulence and drag, and reduce pressure in the front wheel arches, thereby increasing downforce. Cut-out sections behind the rear wheels also reduce wheel arch pressure, while the raised right rear spoiler and rear diffuser plant cars to maximize traction and stability at high speeds.

With three-way adjustable Nitron shocks (rebound adjustment, as well as low and high speed compression) and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, as standard the cars use Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires ( 215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear), mounted on fully machined ultralight forged aluminum wheels. Superior stopping power is provided by forged AP Racing four-piston brake calipers and racing-derived two-piece J-hook brake discs – provide better grip and consistent stopping power after track work at high intensity.

A celebration of Lotus Exclusive

These two unique Celebration cars perfectly demonstrate the appeal of Lotus Exclusive, which offers Lotus buyers a unique ownership proposition by combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design.

Developed by the in-house design team, the exclusive program was designed to inspire customers to further customize the character of their Lotus cars. With the ability to tailor vehicles to their tastes, it offers an attractive alternative to a ready-made sports car – covering everything from color coding to race car preparation. Establishing with new buyers, about a third of all new Lotus cars built exhibit some form of personalization.

The two unique Celebration Exige Type 49 and 79 appearing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​were curated by Lotus Exclusive to provide a bespoke but tasteful interpretation of the brand’s two iconic racing cars. Inspired by the famous racing colors of their namesakes, they link the brand to its past but anchor it to the present, with the formidable Exige Cup 430.

Respectively finished in solid red and motorsport black, the 49 and 79 enhance the fine contrasting subtle but crisp stripes on the front splitters, front access panels, spoilers, roof panels and rear fenders in Championship Gold. Fully composite in nature, both incorporate carbon fiber front splitters, air curtains, front access panels, side air intakes, rigid roof panels, lightweight full tailgate panels, straight rear fenders and rear diffuser finishes in their design. Ultra-light gold painted wheels with diamond cut rims and red brake calipers seal their appeal with unique type decals on each rear buttress.

Inside, each car’s racing colors are referenced, with carbon racing seats manufactured in-house by Lotus trimmed in black Alcantara® and finished with contrasting double stitching in red and gold, or black and gold. This is taken up by the door panels and face-level air vents, the transmission console, and complemented by the anodized aluminum and carbon fiber elements of the cabin – including door sills and a cover. instrument cockpit. To top it off, Lotus’s famous open-door manual gearbox, designed specifically for quick and smooth gear changes, sits a wooden gearshift knob.

With every Lotus Sports bundle handcrafted by a team of skilled craftsmen, the Lotus Exclusive program draws on the collective to create something exceptional for the customer. Including everything from non-standard paint colors, striking roof panels, tasteful color decals, as well as contrasting brake calipers, the same level of attention can be focused on the cabin, with options of custom coating and finish available.

Lotus Exclusive is available on all Lotus cars, from the entry-level Elise to the Evora range, with a full range of performance options that make it truly tailor-made.

A celebration of champions – the Lotus Type 49 and 79

As two cars that cleared the ground before them and dominated the sport, the Lotus Type 49 and 79 F1 single-seaters are as memorable for their design and colors as they are for their racing victories. Part of Lotus’ unrivaled motorsport heritage, they are examples or the DNA of the brand as defined by company founder Colin Chapman.

Designed to accommodate the new Cosworth DFV engine, the Lotus Type 49 won its first race with Jim Clark at the wheel at Zandvoort in 1967. The following year, resplendent in the colors of gold leaf, it propelled Graham Hill to its second in the world, and Lotus in the constructors’ championship, and it continued to win races until 1970. Its four-year reign at the top of the grid made the Lotus 49 one of the most important racing cars all time.

Equally inspiring, the Lotus 79 is considered one of the most breathtaking F1 cars ever made, especially in the John Player Special livery. With the underside of the car designed as an inverted wing, the resulting reduction in air pressure under the body significantly increased downforce. During the 1978 season, the Lotus Type 79 proved to be almost unbeatable, helping Mario Andretti in the F1 Drivers ‘Championship and Lotus in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

Lotus proudly celebrates its 70th anniversary at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​as an automotive partner of the event. This year’s Festival will allow visitors to see some exceptional cars from the brands’ past racing the Hill. This includes the world championship winner Lotus 25 from Jim Clark, the world championship winner Lotus 49 from Graham Hill, Ayrton Senna’s first F1 racing car, the Lotus 97T, and the revolutionary turbine-powered Indycar. Lotus Type 56 gas.

As the center of the celebrations, Lotus’s current line of sports cars will be proudly displayed at the company’s booth in the main exhibitor area. This includes the Celebration Exige Type 79, which appears with a Type 79 racing car driven by Mario Andretti as part of his championship winning year.

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