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 |  Dec 27 2009, 5:34 PM

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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:

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