Lotus Cars, the English sports car manufacturer, celebrates the 70th anniversary of the company’s inception this year. In quintessential Lotus style, the last few months have included the unveiling of extra-lightweight sports cars, plenty of industry events, and now, Lotus has released a tire-shredding video clip in honor of the brand’s track-focused heritage.
Lotus began as the brainchild of Colin Chapman and Colin Dare, two engineers determined to take on an industry dominated at the time by major brands like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. Over the years, the company has been bought and sold, managed and mismanaged by plenty of larger corporations, but the core tenets that help keep Lotus at the forefront of automotive enthusiasts’ minds have remained the same.
Namely, the production of lightweight, nimble sports cars that prioritize driver engagement, overall performance, and fun. From early models like the Elite and Elan to the Elise and Exige, every Lotus stands at or near the top of any list for cars that offer plenty of smiles per gallon at the track or in twisty canyons. To celebrate Lotus’s 70th birthday, they've now released two special-edition, even lighter, Exiges intended to celebrate the company’s success in Formula 1 racing. The two cars, named Type 49 and Type 79, cut weight with the generous application of carbon fiber, with diamond-cut wheels, red brakes, and a wooden shift knob rounding out the package.
The Exiges were unveiled at a VIP reception at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, displayed alongside historical cars like Jim Clark’s World Championship-winning Lotus 25, Graham Hill’s World Championship-winning Lotus 49, Ayrton Senna’s Lotus 97T, the superstar’s first F1 race-winning car, and the Lotus Type 56, and Mario Andretti’s Lotus Type 79, piloted during his championship campaign.
Overseeing the festivities, Lotus had the privilege of hosting the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who was joined by Colin Chapman’s son and current Director of Classic Team Lotus, Clive Chapman, and Feng Qingfeng, the company’s newly-appointed CEO.
The celebrations will continue on September 29, when Lotus will open their Hethel facility to the public for special events including some “track based entertainment.” While a limited quantity of tickets have been made available, only Lotus owners and their guests will be allowed to the party, and they must bring their cars to gain entry.