British sports car manufacturer Lotus has a rich racing history, one filled with domination, downfall, and resurgence.
Lotus reigned over Formula one in the 1960s and 1970s, where innovative, yet dangerous designs propelled the race team to six driver’s championships and seven constructors championships over 15 years.
Part of Lotus’ success was its pride and bloodhound devotion to winning. After several accidents that included driver fatalities, Dan Gurney, one of Lotus’ drivers, remained steadfast in the pursuit of victory.
“Did I think the Lotus way of doing things was good? No,” he said. “We had several structural failures in those cars. But at the time, I felt it was the price you paid for getting something significantly better.”
No one ever said Lotus wasn’t committed.
Despite early success, new designs and roster instability caused Lotus to falter in the 1980s and eventually dissolve in the 1990s. Nearly ten years later, though, Team Lotus burst back on the Formula One scene as Lotus F1. After two years of racing success, Lotus is releasing a limited edition Exige called the LF1 in tribute to its storied racing ancestry.
The Exige LF1 is based on the Exige S, but with a special black, red and gold color scheme. The striking sports car has been equipped with a race pack that includes two-piece performance brake discs, sticky Pirelli tires, and a four-mode Dynamic Performance System (DPM). The DPM gives the driver access to launch control, exhaust bypass valves, and optimized suspension.
Production will be limited to 88 units, with each LF1 costing around $105,000, nearly $10,000 more than the Exige S V6. Power will come from the same 3.5-liter, supercharged V6 that powers the S and pumps out 345 horsepower. Since the car only weighs 2,592 pounds, the little Lotus accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
The extras don’t stop at the car though; Lotus is including a Formula 1 package with the purchase of the LF1. With that, you get a two-person tour of the Lotus production facility, a two-person tour of the Lotus F1 Team headquarters, and other goodies like an F1-branded key fob, replica racing helmet, and USB stick.
Glad to have you back, Lotus.