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Mark H
Mark H
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Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars mark 40th, 50th & 70th Lotus milestones at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018

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

 

• Lotus Celebration Exige Type 49 and 79 unveiled at Goodwood
• Marking anniversaries of World Championship winning F1 race cars • Part of Lotus’ 70th birthday activity at the Festival of Speed
• Lotus Exige Type 49 debuts on the famous Hillclimb
• Celebrations show bespoke nature of Lotus Exclusive  
 

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

 

The Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars have been hand crafted by Lotus Exclusive in a salute to Lotus’ 70th birthday, and the victory anniversaries of two historic race cars that helped define the
brand as one of the all-time great automotive marques. On display and in action over all four days
of the Festival of Speed weekend, with the Exige Type 49 competing in the timed supercar runs on
the Saturday, they’re a fitting tribute to one of the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of Lotus’
founder.
In 1948 Colin Chapman built his first competition car, in a small London lock-up garage, following
his own theories for improved performance. He formed Lotus in 1952 and from there the company
continued to innovate in both road and race engineering. Changing the very nature and intent of
car design for ever, Chapman was at the vanguard of a new way of thinking and his concepts are
as relevant today as they were 70 years ago.
Speaking of the unveiling, and the company’s 70th anniversary, Group Lotus’ chief executive
officer, Mr. Feng Qingfeng, said: “Lotus is an iconic British brand and its contribution to both the
world of motorsport, and development of sports car as we know them today, is undeniable. To be
able to unveil our Celebration Exiges at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is truly historic, especially
as the cars that inspired them are also here on display and in action. These Celebration cars are a
fitting tribute to our past, but they reflect our future and show that we’re still true to our principles in
building the very best luxury sports cars.”

In addition to 2018 marking the anniversary of Lotus’ birth, it’s a milestone for two historic racers.
With the two one-off cars containing the marque’s DNA, the Exige Type 49 marks the 50 years
since Graham Hill clinched both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World 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, in the Lotus Type 79.  
 

The Type 49 and 79 are just two of the cars that helped forge Lotus’ reputation in competition. In
Formula 1 alone it has more than 500 Grand Prix starts, complete with 81 victories and 13 World
Championships. As well as the laurels gained in Grand prix racing, Lotus has successfully
competed in Rally, Le Mans, Indy and saloon car classes around the world.
A Celebration of Cups
Far from being just for show, the Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars by Lotus Exclusive pack
phenomenal performance into one of the all-time great chassis designs. Based on the wildest ever
incarnation of the Exige the Cup 430, the Type 49 and 79 set the fastest lap time for a road car
around Lotus’ hallowed Hethel test track, covering the 2.2 miles in just 1 minute 24.8 seconds.
Showing its potential, the Exige Type 49 is taking to the Hill for the Festival weekend, with
demonstration runs over all four days and a sprint against the clock in the timed Supercar run on
the Saturday afternoon.  
Employing a supercharger and chargecooler designed specifically for the potent engine, both the
Exige Type 49 and 79 possess 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,000

rpm. 0-60mph is demolished in just 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds) before they reach a
top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).  
As the leader in lightweight sports cars, the Type 49 and 79 maximise the benefits of the latest
technologies and advanced materials to weight just 1,056 kg in their lightest configuration,
bestowing the Celebration cars with a power to weight of 407 hp / tonne. In addition to cutting
mass, the carbon composite body panels also deliver the cars’ distinctive styling and aerodynamic
set up. The high-gloss visible weave components include the front splitter, front clam, air blades,
unique bargeboards, roof panel, rear tailgate, straight-cut wing and diffuser surround.
Aerodynamically evolved, the cars deploy up to 220 kg of downforce through the careful
management of airflow under and over the car. Air curtain elements and louvers in the front clam
panel efficiently regulate turbulence and drag, and reduce pressure within the front wheel arches,
increasing downforce. The cut-out sections behind the rear wheels also reduce wheel arch
pressure, while the high mounted straight rear wing and rear diffuser plant the cars to maximise
traction and stability at high speeds.
With Nitron three-way adjustable dampers (tuning rebound, as well as low-speed and high-speed
compression) and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, as standard, the cars use
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear), fitted on ultra
lightweight, fully machined, forged aluminium wheels. Superior stopping power is provided by
forged, four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and race-derived two-piece, J-hook brake discs -
provide improved bite and consistent stopping power after high-intensity track work.
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 scheme has been conceived to inspire
customers to further personalise the character of their Lotus cars. With the ability to tailor vehicles
to their taste, it provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car - covering everything
from colour coding through to race car preparation. Establishing itself with new buyers, roughly one
third of all new Lotus cars built feature some form of personalisation.
Both the one-off Celebration Exige Type 49 and 79 appearing a Goodwood Festival of Speed have
been curated by Lotus Exclusive to provide a bespoke yet tasteful interpretation of the marque’s
two iconic race cars. Inspired by the famous racing colours schemes of their namesakes, they
connect 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 augment subtle but sharp
contrasting pinstripes on the front splitters, front access panels, bargeboards, roof panels and rear
wings in Championship Gold. Comprehensively composite in nature, both incorporate carbon fibre
front splitters, air curtains, front access panels, side intakes, hard top roof panels, lightweight full
tailgate panels, straight rear wings and rear diffuser finishers into their design. Ultra-lightweight
gold painted wheels with diamond cut rims, and red brake calipers, seal their appeal along with
unique Type decals on each rear buttress.
Inside, each cars’ racing colours are referenced, with Lotus’ in-house manufactured carbon race
seats trimmed in black Alcantara®, and finished with colour keyed red and gold, or black and gold,
contrast double stitching. This is echoed by the door panels and face-level vents, transmission
console, and complemented by the cabin’s anodised aluminium and carbon fibre elements -
including door sills and an instrument binnacle cover. Topping off Lotus’ acclaimed open-gate
manual gearbox, designed specifically for fast and fluid shifts, is a wooden gear knob.
With every single Lotus Sports hand built by a team of skilled craftsmen and women, the Lotus
Exclusive scheme draws on the collective to create something exceptional for the customer.
Including everything from non-standard paint colours, stand-out roof panels, tasteful colour decals,
as well as contrast brake calipers, the same level of attention can be centred on the cabin, with
bespoke upholstery and finish options available.

Lotus Exclusive is available on all Lotus cars, from the entry level Elise to the range topping Evora,
with a full range of performance options making it truly made to measure.  
A Celebration of Champions – the Lotus Type 49 and 79

 

As two cars that cleared the field before them and dominated the sport, the Lotus Type 49 and 79
F1 single seaters are as memorable for their design and colours schemes as they are for their race
victories. Part of Lotus’ unrivalled motorsport legacy, they are exemplars or the brand DNA 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 in Zandvoort 1967. The following year, resplendent in the Gold Leaf
colours, it powered Graham Hill to his second World Championship, and Lotus to the Constructors'
Championship, and It continued to win races until 1970. Its four-year reign at the front of the grid
marks the Lotus 49 as one of the most significant racing cars of all time.

Equally as inspiring, the Lotus 79 is regarded as one of the most visually stunning F1 cars ever
built - especially in the John Player Special livery. With the underside of the car designed as an
inverted wing, the resulting reduction in air pressure beneath the body dramatically boosted
aerodynamic downforce. In the 1978 season the Lotus Type 79 proved almost unbeatable, helping
Mario Andretti to the F1 Drivers' Championship and Lotus to the Constructors' Championship.
Lotus is proudly celebrating its 70th anniversary at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 as an
Automotive Partner of the event. This year’s Festival will allow visitors to see some outstanding
cars from the marques’ past running the Hill. This includes Jim Clark’s World Championship
winning Lotus 25, Graham Hill’s World Championship winning Lotus 49, Ayton Senna’s first F1
race winning car, the Lotus 97T, and the revolutionary Lotus Type 56 gas turbine Indycar.  
Acting as the centre of the celebrations, Lotus’ current line-up of sports cars will be proudly
displayed on the company’s stand in the main exhibitors’ space. This includes the Celebration
Exige Type 79, which is appearing with a Type 79 racing car campaigned by Mario Andretti as part
of his Championship winning year.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Is it time for a change? You'll need 5 minutes!

    S2 111s or S3 220/Sprint   I currently own an S2111s its the latest in a long line of Elises which have included many different variants both S1 and S2, some purchased brand new, some used. April this year was the 20th anniversary of my first Elise and with my current car being an 02 I thought I’d take a look at what the latest incarnation is like with a view to a possible new purchase.   I’m no driving God, and I’m certainly not a motoring journalist, I’m just someone who has a passion for Lotus cars and in particular the Elise so I thought I’d pass on my thoughts. Some might agree, some will no doubt take me to task, the following are just my opinions on the cars. My Elise these days is used on the road, mostly in the more secluded areas of Mid/North Wales, but we also use it for holidays in the UK and occasionally Europe, sadly track days are few and far between at the moment, but I’ve done a good few over the years.   First impression of this Sprint is how good it looks in Exige Orange, the carbon fibre pack, which gives you carbon front  access panels, seats, roll bar, and bootlid are added to help keep the weight down. I liked the rollbar cover, and access panels, but have to say the bootlid gives the impression of trying a bit too hard, I also worry about it’s longevity dropping it from a very high level being the unformed way to close the boot as opposed to pushing down on it, and the seats although they are extremely comfortable the top of the headrest curves at quite an angle back into the car, I’m 6’1” and if I relaxed back into the seat I found the top edge cut into the back of my head, this would worry me  in the event of an impact even at low speed, having said that when in a normal driving position the seats are very comfortable and feel wider than those in my 111s. The car also has the black pack which basically gives you black wing mirrors and a black transom, something that I’ve never been fond of, it looks better on the Sprint than some others but wouldn’t be on my wish list, I also like the “old” 4 rear light set up more too.   My 111s had a full suspension refresh less than 5k miles ago, I went with quantum zeros from Elise parts and I’m very happy with them, the Sprint uses Bilsteins and you notice the difference in ride straight away, the car rides out small potholes and rough surfaces really well, I’m not sure if that’s due to the springs that have been used or the sound pack that this car had fitted, perhaps this is something Lotus have done to make up for today’s poorly maintained tarmac, either way it irons out rough surfaces and small potholes like no Elise I’ve ever driven, even to the point that I could relax my “pothole eagle eye” by about 30%, that buttock clenching clang as you hit a missed pothole has somehow disappeared. A 5:30am blast along Military Road Isle of Wight also gave an indication as to how the car handles when you get chance to push it a bit, I’ll run out of talent way before the Elise does, but happy to report that it’s everything you expect in the ride and handling dept and loved the fatter 195’s on the front. Oh, and those wheels, no longer available apparently which is such a shame.   Which brings us to performance. I’ve got to say that I was a bit disappointed with the Sprints performance, I don’t doubt it’s probably quicker than my 111s but somehow the refined way it gets to motorway speeds detracts from the sense of occasion I’ve come to expect from Elise’s, to the uninitiated it still feels like your going very quickly even at low speeds, perhaps I was expecting the Sprint to be considerably quicker but it’s not, or at least it doesn’t feel like it is, and that was a let down for me, it’s here that I noticed the added weight more than anywhere too although if I’m honest the extra weight in the car is noticeable everywhere when you sit and think about it, from its pothole riding abilities to the Golfesque “Thunk” of the door as you get in and out, it does make for a quality feel though, okay not quite a Golf but you know what I mean.   The interior of the Sprint really is a plush place to be, only the ribbed floor plates in front of the seats remain uncovered giving a glimpse of the aluminium chassis, everything else is covered and adorned with alcantara and leather all stitched with body coloured orange stitching, new cubby holes in the front dash are a great idea, with a USB port in the passenger side. The exposed gear sector mechanism is probably the most noticeable addition to the interior, I think it looks fantastic and is something that adds to the already talked about quality feel, the gear change less so, its certainly improved but still not in the same league as an MX5. I thought I’d miss the iconic Stack speedo set up but the rev counter and speedo are clear and nicely done with an lcd temp readout that can be scrolled through to give outside temperature, speed kph, water temp etc, and also includes what seems to be a more accurate fuel gauge. The passenger footrest has gone! much to the annoyance of my 5’2” passenger as too has the drivers footrest, and Lotus please please sort out some decent indicator stalks, like all previous incarnations they feel like they are made of cheese and will break at any moment, such a let down on what is otherwise a fantastic place to be, and if you spec cruise control there’s no chance of chopping them off and replacing with aluminium stalks like I and so many others have on previous cars. This Sprint had a bluetooth headunit which is £400 cost option and A/C, neither of which I’d spec.   Finally, The Sprint is no longer available as a new purchase you have to go for a 220 Sport and to spec it to the same level as this Sprint your looking in the region of £52000, my reason for taking the car for an extended test drive was to see if the 220 SC was for me as the Sprint is basically the same car.   The Sprint is a fantastic car, its more refined than my car, probably quicker(slightly) certainly rides todays roads better, out of the box its better built too, so many things I really liked about it, yet there are some bits I didn’t like, and some of those can’t be specced out.   All in all, was the Sprint a better car than my 111s the answer is yes, it is, is it £20/30k better than my 111s then no I have to say it isn’t. If I didn’t already own an Elise I’d be buying a 220 Sport or better still I’d buy this Sprint, as it is I’m going to have to turn the Eagle eye pothole detector up and have to put up with clenching the old bum cheeks occasionally.       Many thanks to Michael Taylor at Snows Lotus Hedge End who arranged the test drive and patiently answered my one thousand questions.  

    Jonathan E
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    Justin C
    Justin C
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    Hello old friends......

    Afternoon all.  Just thought i would say hello, been lurking for a while but not really active since i sold my last Elise in 2016. Good news, after doing sensible things like saving for a wedding and a house, as of next week i will officially be back in the fold and i CANNOT WAIT! I am not quite midlands anymore, living in the outskirts of Oxfordshire, but i am only a 75 minute drive from Leicester so its not that bad.... looking forward to catching up with old faces at a meet soon. Cheers   Chris 

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    Chris_edeson
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