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DATE News (chronologically)
12/31/09
f1
automotive
Lotus to offer Limited Ed Exige to celebrate F1 launch
Lotus plans on producing only 40 Exige S Type 72s for Britain and Europe, with another limited run in Japan and maybe USA
Lotus Cars has announced it will build a special edition Exige S to celebrate the brand’s return to the Formula One grid next season.

The model’s name, Exige S Type 72, is meant to inspire memories of the famous Lotus Type 72 racecar that won 20 races, three constructors’ championships and two drivers’ titles between 1970-75. If this all sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because Lotus released a Type 72 edition of the Elise S2 a few years ago, though that did not coincide with a Formula One comeback.

The Lotus Type 72 won 20 races between 1970-75.
The Lotus Type 72 remains one of Formula One’s classics, combining groundbreaking aerodynamics, the legendary Cosworth DFV engine and a beautiful livery. It is the car that Jochen Rindt drove to his championship in 1970 and the car he died in at Monza that same year. (His drivers’ title remains the only posthumous one in Formula One history.)

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus and manager of the Formula One team at the time, also spearheaded the adoption of outside sponsorship in the sport. The Type 72’s livery was derived from the black and gold packaging of the team’s main sponsor, John Player Special cigarettes.

The Lotus Type 72 won 20 races in all, and Lotus will limit the Exige S Type 72 to 20 units in Britain. Another 20 will be sold in the rest of Europe and another batch will be sold in Japan and points as yet unnamed. So far, there’s no word whether the Exige S Type 72 will be sold in the United States.

Mechanically, the special edition model is essentially an Exige S with the Sport Pack. There is special interior treatment, including black seats and gold stitching. The Exige S Type 72 is priced at 35,995 pounds in Britain and 40,332 Euros in Europe (or around $58,000).

A Lotus last appeared on the Formula One grid in 1994. By then the team was just a shell of its former self. The last constructors’ championship came in 1978. And the team’s glory years were left far behind.

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