Lotus has launched a limited edition Exige – the Lotus Exige S Type 72 – to commemorate the return of Lotus to F1 in 2010.
Lotus is back in Formula One for the first time since the early nineties and to celebrate they’ve announced a new car. But don’t get too excited, it’s not the new Lotus Esprit or even the Lotus Evora Convertible. It’s yet another Lotus Exige, this time the Lotus Exige S Type 72.
Named after the Type 72 which dominated F1 in the Lotus glory days of the seventies, the Exige S Type 72 is a tarted and titivated Exige. No additional power and some cosmetic fiddling to make it ‘Unique’, but as the base car is a pretty fine piece of kit it still produces an appealing set of wheels.
The Toyota-sourced 1.8 litre turbo-charged 4 pot delivers the same 220bhp as the stock car, which in all honesty is as much as the Exige needs. Top speed is an unremarkable 145mph, but the 0-60mph of 4.5 seconds lets the rocket-on-rails Exige feed back more thrills per £ or bhp than almost anything on the road.
The Exige S Type 72 gets a paint job that pays homage to the Lotus F1 cars of my youth – all black with gold detailing; it’s worth it for that alone. Politically incorrect these days, the colours are the ‘John Player Special’ cigarette advertising colours and were synonymous with Lotus when Colin Chapman was at the helm and Lotus were the coolest kids on the block.
The Type 72 gets the Sports pack as standard, and also includes such goodies as a bespoke interior with black micro fibre ProBax sports seats with gold stitching, black and gold lightweight alloys and the ubiquitous ‘Limited Edition’ badging. Options available include the Performance Pack (an extra 20bhp), AirCon, Limited Slip Diff and a bigger set of APS brakes.
Lotus are making 20 cars for the UK, 20 for Europe and an unstated number for markets in Japan and the rest of the world. Price in the UK is £35,995 (+ £950 OTR costs).
Not the cheapest way in to an Exige, we have to say. But as we’ve already said, worth it for the paint job alone.