In 1997 Lotus unveiled the Lotus Elise GT1 Type 115, a derivative of the Lotus Elise powered by the 3.5 litre eight-cylinder engine from the Lotus Esprit V8. A Hewland six-speed sequential gear box helped transfer the 580 horsepower to the rear wheels. The body is carbon-fibre and the chassis is an aluminum unit borrowed from the Elise. Ventilated disc brakes were fitted on all four-corners. The vehicle could accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 3.8 seconds and top speed was achieved at nearly 200 mph.
For racing, the car was fitted with a 6.0 litre DOHC V8 derived from the LT5 engine that Lotus designed for the Corvette ZR-1. The car had no success in the FIA GT Championship and failed to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997, its only year of competition.
The suspension is unequal length A arm with coil over shocks . The 3.5 liter V8 is from the Esprit and is connected to a Hewland six-speed sequential gear box. The road configuration will produce 350hp while the race trim will be 550hp.
The Lotus GT1 Race car is derived from the Lotus Elise. The car compete against the like of the McLaren F1 and the Porsche GT1. Lotus was represented by the Esprit V8 in last year’s BPR series.
The body is entirely carbonfibre. The chassis is based on the extruded aluminium found in the Elise, but the integrated roll cage, the chassis is twice as rigid as the Esprit
The GT1 race car was developed by Lotus participated in the 1997 FIA Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours. The car was unveiled at Ketteringham Hall, the centre of Lotus motor racing for over 20 years, on 21 November 1996. It had been developed from the first design and concept to a running car in only 6 months.
The car continues the Lotus philosophy of lightweight combined with sophisticated engineering :
- excellent weight power ratio;
- excellent ride & handling and safety;
- maximum downforce with minimum drag;
- reliability and economy for the endurance races.
Intense attention to detail and the extensive use of the most advanced technology and materials, such as carbon fibre, kevlar, titanium and aluminium alloys, has allowed the GT1 car to achieve its target weight of 900 kg. Lightweight means quicker acceleration, more efficient braking, quicker cornering and improved fuel consumption.
The combination of the ultralight extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, a carbon fibre “clam-shell” body and the V8 engine - all developed by Lotus -results in an outstanding new high performance GT race car.