Lotus has three models on sale right now: the Elise, Exige, and Evora. Of those there have been quite a few very similar but slightly different variations, even special editions, that have been revealed over recent memory.
This is the latest one, based the on the Exige Cup 430, which is the most potent Exige they offer and above the Sport 380 and Sport 350. But unlike those cars, this one has a bit more story to go with the flood of green. For one, it features a bespoke exterior livery that’s meant to commemorate the Lotus 25 Formula 1 car from the early 1960s, and as such only 25 units will be built.
The Lotus 25 was ahead of its time in many ways, establishing Colin Chapman as one of the foremost authorities in vehicle design and racing dynamics. Following the 1962 F1 season, it was the that 25 handed Lotus their first constructors and Jim Clark a driver’s championship the following year, putting its innovative monocoque chassis to full use and laying the foundations for open-wheel racing engineering for decades to come.
Each Exige Cup Type 25, therefore, is being peddled as a collectors item, priced at roughly £110,000 and featuring an exterior treatment that mixes Lotus Racing Green with the bright yellow accents to evoke that classic competition look. Another option would be to select the Old English White with green accents, but that’s nowhere near as period-accurate.
Inside, the selected colour combo translate to matching trim highlights. Elsewhere there are carbon race seats in Alcantara and carbon fibre dash elements, even a wooden gear selector knob to operate its 6-speed manual transmission, for that full retro nod.
Sitting behind the passenger cell is a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine that develops 320kW and 440Nm, allowing it to reach 100km/h in just 3.3 seconds - par for the course in terms of the Exige Cup 430, then. Though it’s designed for the track, using its extensive aero package to generate up to 220kg of downforce, flat out it’ll peak at around 290km/h.
Announcing the new car, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said: “Although the Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 is street legal, it blurs the line between road and race car to provide owners with an unbeatable blend of power, road holding, intuitive handling at any speed,"
"On everyday open roads it rewards its driver with a pure analogue experience, like only a Lotus can, yet venture onto the track and you’ll find a depth in performance that only the very best driver can truly exploit. Like the Lotus Type 25 in 1963, this car is without any rival.”
Now that they’ve got their F1 heritage itch scratched with this particular special edition, we wonder how many more they’ve got in them before they’d move on to something properly new.