History of the 1967 Lotus 49 and How You Can Own One
In racing, there are great drivers and utterly astonishing ones and Jim Clark undoubtedly belongs to the latter category, the quiet farmer from Scotland scoring 25 Grand Prix victories and clinching two World Driver’s Titles on top of an Indy 500 victory in just six years. This car, the fourth Lotus 49 ever built, was driven by Clark to his final F1 success and it’s now for sale in Germany. Prepare to call your bank!
It’s not often that we see cars driven by the world’s finest drivers come up for sale. In November, a buzzing crowd gathered to see Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2002 that the seven-time World Driver’s Champion drove to victory in the 2002 French GP across the block in Abu Dhabi. At over $6.6 million, it became the second most expensive F1 car ever to be sold at a public auction. The first? Another one of Michael’s unbeatable Ferraris. It is natural, then, to expect a car driven by the ’Schumacher of the ’60s’ to be really expensive, more so when the car in question is the brilliant 49.
Lotus’ Experience With AWD Stretches Back 50 Years, So They Know What They’re Doing On The Evija
Lotus, the legendary race car manufacturer turned sports car maker, unveiled the Evija earlier this year, its first all-electric car and, at the same time, its first hypercar and first AWD road-going model. The luscious beast features four electric motors, one behind each wheel, combining for a mind-boggling (and Pininfarina-beating) output of 1,971 horsepower, making it the fastest British hypercar. While a first in many aspects, it’s actually not the first Lotus where the power reaches all four wheels.
When the Evija was unveiled, showcasing Chinese giant Geely’s clear intention to revive the brand and make it more profitable than ever, most of the automotive world took a step back in awe but not everybody was as impressed by the $2.3 million car that will be built in a limited run of 130 units. We were among the skeptics, questioning whether or not the Evija is a clever way for Lotus to increase its revenue by building something it has never built before. We’ve also questioned the sudden move from ICE-powered cars to EVs without prior introduction of any hybrid model. But one area where Lotus does have some past experience is that of four-wheel-driven cars.
Back in the ’60s, when teams were racing on track to win races and off-track to build the cars capable to win those races, Lotus thought it could come up with a more maneuverable car than everybody else and that’s when the idea of having a system that would dispatch power to all four wheels instead of just two emerged. Sure, it’s nothing like the AWD technology on the Evija but, at least, Lotus can say it did build such cars in its storied past.
The 2020 Lotus Evora GT4 Concept Previews The Official 2020 Race Car
The Lotus Evora has been around for a fair few years, hasn’t it? It was introduced a decade ago and, since then, not much has changed about what was Evo Magazine’s Car of the Year in 2009. Now, however, Lotus tries to remind us that the Evora is yet to kick the bucket by introducing a revised GT4-spec racing version. The Evora GT4 Concept is also a way for Lotus to announce that it’s launching the Lotus Driving Academy in China and will go on a tour with its new Chinese works drivers to showcase the car’s prowess.
For starters, let me tell you this isn’t really a concept - not like, say, the Volkswagen I.D. Roomzz is a concept. I mean just look at it, for all intents and purposes it looks ready to race. It doesn’t have cartoonishly large wheels or anything that could be considered out of order on a racing car. What it is, is the updated version of the Evora Cup GT4. The Cup GT4 model was based on the 2009 Lotus Evora Type 124 Prototype that previewed Lotus’ambitions to return to GT-based endurance racing. Now, the Evora looks meaner than ever, and we may see it race Stateside too, as well as in Europe.
Get Your Simplified Lightness On With The Lotus Exige Cup 380
Lotus has been pumping out successively quicker iterations of the Exige for several years now, including the Sport 350 unveiled in 2015, and the Sport 380 that dropped early last year. The latest is this – the Exige Cup 380, a car Lotus is calling the “ultimate track-and-back street-legal Lotus.” Essentially an even more focused iteration of the Sport 380, the Cup 380 once again strives for that tried-and-true Lotus performance philosophy, striking a balance between street-legal road car and track-burning race car. It’s a lithe supercar killer sporting revised aero and even less weight, making for a spec sheet absolutely worthy of the green and yellow badge glued to the nose.
The big selling point here is the car’s power-to-weight ratio, with 355 horsepower available to motivate 1 metric ton (2,205 pounds) of curb weight. That means it’ll hit 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds, while top speed is rated at 175 mph. But, in addition to lots of straight-line performance, the Lotus also offers lots of stick, generating as much as 200 kg (441 pounds) at speed thanks to an extensive rework of the exterior wings and spoilers. That’s an increase of 43 percent compared to the Exige Sport 380, and combined with more rubber in the rear, the Cup 380 should be an absolute riot on the track. Read on for more info.
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2017 Lotus Elise Race 250
Now entering its second decade in production, the Lotus Elise is simply one of the most capable speed machines on the planet, as evidenced by the numerous platform iterations (Tesla Roadster, Hennessey Venom GT, etc.) and high-spec track day specials that have sprung up over the years. Now, Lotus is offering its most hardcore track-oriented Elise to date, and it’s called the Race 250. The number is a reference to the car’s blown 1.8-liter output figures, which are complemented by a slew of standard performance options, including a race-ready interior, full aerodynamics, adjustable suspension, and a fiber-rich diet. And, as luck would have it, it’s coming to the U.S.
According to Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc., “The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favorite with our racers around the world.”
Backing Gales’ claim is the Race 250’s 1:33.5 lap time around Lotus’ Hethel test track, a time that bests the Elise Cup 220 R by a full half-second and secures the 250’s spot as the fastest racing Elise that Lotus has ever developed.
So what exactly makes this mighty little giant slayer so darn potent? Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Race 250.
2000 Lotus 340R
When you’re a company like Lotus, you can build things that are a little out of the ordinary from time to time. Take, for example, the Lotus 340R. It’s a special-edition model derived from the Lotus Elise. It shares the same underpinnings, but features a custom-built body shell with no roof or doors to speak of – that’s right, the only way to get into this bad boy is to jump over the edge. There’s more to it than its unique body style, though. Only 340 examples were built, all of which sold out prior to the car’s official debut, and it comes equipped with exclusive tires made by Yokohama.
The 340R is a mid-engined roadster, and all 340 examples were built with the same silver and black two-tone finish. It was built at the brand’s Hethel factory and was never slated for the U.S. market, so it’s not exactly road legal here in the states. It is, however, road-legal in the U.K. – the market it was originally built for. That said, there are a few that may have crossed the big drink to the U.S., but there is only one that is claimed to be road-legal in the states, and that is the one pictured here.
The car you see in our photo gallery was listed for sale on Ebay back in 2014, and, as of this writing, it’s now being sold by a local dealer in Hollywood, Florida, with just over 3,500 miles. So, let’s take a few minutes to go over this special-edition model and see what it brings to the table.
Continue reading to see what made the Lotus 340R so special.