Report: Lotus Exige S Type 72 Celebrates British Brand’s Return to Formula One

Report: Lotus Exige S Type 72 Celebrates British Brand’s Return to Formula One
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To help celebrate the brand’s return to the pinnacle of motorsports, iconic British sports car maker Lotus has just announced the release of the Exige S Type 72. As the name suggests, it’s inspired by the Type 72 F1 car, which was driven by drivers like Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx, who took it to 20 victories between 1970 and 75, with two Driver’s World Championships (in ’70 and ’72) and three Constructors’ Championships (in 1970, ’72 and ’73).

The Exige S Type 72 isn’t anything particularly different, but its rarity (along with its badass paint scheme and wheels) will make it a collectors item. The base car is an Exige S with a supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder making 220-hp, helping the little exotic to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

The black painted Exige gets custom highlights like special light weight black and gold wheels (yum, yum), special ProBax sports seats with “Type 72″ embroidered logos and a special badge commemorating one of the original Type 72’s Formula One victories. And with 20 victories, just 20 examples of this limited edition model will be built.

“The Lotus Exige S Type 72 is an evocative sportscar, combining cutting edge handling and performance with the iconic Type 72 color scheme, one of the most famous racing liveries of all time,” says Luke Bennett, Operations Director for Lotus Cars Limited. “The Exige provides an intense driving experience either on road or track and this limited edition is a worthy car to celebrate such a legendary racing car.”

The Exige S Type 72 will get a Sport Pack as standard, which includes items like traction control, twin oil coolers and an adjustable front sway bar.

Pricing for this collectors item starts at £35,995 (or 40,332 Euro), with 20 initial cars being built for Europe. Lotus has confirmed a limited run for Japan, but there is no word on if this model will make its way to North America.

GALLERY: Lotus Exige S Type 72

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Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

Lotus Exige S Type 72

The Lotus Exige S Type 72 celebrates the most successful F1 car of all time, the Lotus Type 72 Formula One car, which achieved 20 Grand Prix victories between 1970 and 1975.

The Lotus Type 72 was driven by such Lotus greats as Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx and won three Formula One Constructors’ Championships (1970, 1972 and 1973) and two Drivers’ World Championships (the first being won by Jochen Rindt in 1970 and the second by Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972).

The colour scheme of the Exige S Type 72 commemorates the famous and easily recognisable black and gold Lotus Type 72 livery and is finished by the same sign writer who painted racing cars for Team Lotus.

Performance through light weight has long been a Lotus philosophy. The 935kg Exige S Type 72 sprints to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 145 mph, 233 km/h. The Exige S Type 72 also offers class leading fuel economy and emissions, with fuel economy of 6.5 litres/100 km (43.5 mpg) on the Extra Urban Cycle and CO2 emissions of 199 g/km.

The Exige S Type 72 is a powerful supercharged mid-engined sportscar that is equally at home on the racetrack or open road. The intercooled engine has VVTL-i technology ensuring impressive performance all the way to the rev limiter at 8500 rpm. The Sport Pack comes as standard on the Exige S Type 72 which has a bespoke high quality interior, including black micro fibre ProBax sports seats with gold stitching. Each car comes with a special build plate commemorating one of the F1 car’s 20 Grand Prix victories. The exterior of the Exige S Type 72 features unique black and gold light weight wheels and is finished with hand-painted gold Type 72 and Exige S logos, (the Sport Pack also includes a T45 steel main roll hoop, Lotus Traction Control, twin oil coolers and an adjustable front anti-roll bar).

All Lotus cars offer outstanding handling and performance, and the Exige is no exception offering excellent dynamics and great driver involvement. Lotus ride and handling gives an inspiring driving experience and the mid-engined layout of the Lotus Exige S Type 72 offers fantastic balance and agility.

Luke Bennett, Operations Director for Lotus Cars Limited stated, “The Lotus Exige S Type 72 is an evocative sportscar, combining cutting edge handling and performance with the iconic Type 72 colour scheme, one of the most famous racing liveries of all time. The Exige provides an intense driving experience either on road or track and this limited edition is a worthy car to celebrate such a legendary racing car.”

Clive Chapman, Director of Classic Team Lotus said, “The Type 72 was a very significant car for Team Lotus and indeed for the world of F1. It was a revolutionary design that pioneered the use of side mounted radiators to achieve its distinctive ‘wedge’ profile, which delivered a significant aerodynamic advantage. Furthermore, by minimising unsprung weight and using a torsion bar, rising rate suspension, tyre performance was excellent. The Lotus Type 72 design was so advanced that it was competitive for an extraordinary six years.” The Exige S Type 72 options include: Air Conditioning, Limited Slip Differential and the Performance Pack, which includes a power increase to 240 PS, larger AP Racing brakes, enlarged roof scoop (compared to the standard Exige S) and Lotus variable traction control and Lotus launch control.

To commemorate the impressive number of Grand Prix wins the Type 72 achieved, Lotus will be producing 20 of this special edition for the UK, a further 20 cars for mainland Europe and there will be a limited run of cars in Japan and selected markets around the world.

Lotus Exige S Type 72 prices: UK Price: £35,995 MRSP, excluding on the road costs of £950 Euro zone price: €40,332, including delivery and other on the road costs, excluding local country tax.

Exige S: 199 g/km CO2 8.5 l/100 km (33.2 mpg) Combined Cycle 11.9 l/100 km (23.7 mpg) Urban Cycle 6.5 litres/100 km (43.5 mpg) Extra Urban Cycle