The new Lotus "Circuit Car"

Based on the Lotus Elise Aluminium chassis, and weighing in at approximately 600kg, the single-seater car (with an option of two seats) has been designed and engineered solely for Track Day and Club Racing.

The lightweight composite bodywork of the visually dramatic open-topped circuit car combines high downforce from cleverly engineered aerodynamics. Part of its phenomenal performance is from a supercharged Toyota VVTL-i engine, and is estimated to achieve the 0 - 100 mph (160 km/h) sprint in a staggering 9.0 seconds. This exciting combination has allowed for a dynamic racing package producing higher performance to that of existing Elise-based products. An entry-level naturally-aspirated VVTL-i engine will also be available, powering the car from 0 - 62 mph in under 4 seconds.

Braking is provided by a servo-assisted, track tuned 4-channel Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Lotus/AP-Racing twin-piston fixed aluminium alloy front brake calipers, Brembo single-piston sliding rear calipers and 282 mm diameter, 26 mm thick front and rear, cast-iron ventilated and cross-drilled discs.

The lightweight GRP composite bodywork is bolted to the chassis for easy removal for maintenance and race / track preparation. The bodywork has been designed by the Lotus Design team led by Russell Carr, Chief of Design for Lotus. who explains the design philosophy:

"The design captures the essence of the other Lotus based products and combines it with a functionally correct bodywork to give a racecar that is not only beautiful to look at but aerodynamically and structurally as effective as it possibly can be". The small frontal area with no windscreen is combined with flat, unsculptured sides with no air intakes, for minimal drag; and a deep front splitter and a large rear wing (single plane as standard and dual element as an option) and a rear diffuser to attain maximum aerodynamic downforce.

The prototype Lotus "Circuit Car" was run for the first time at the oldest motorsport venue in the world, the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, during the Centenary celebrations on August 19th - 21st.

The Lotus "Circuit Car" is scheduled to go on sale by mid 2006 with volumes of approximately 100 units per year. The actual name, and the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices will not be confirmed until closer to production but it is expected that the production versions will start at around £25,000 for the 190 hp version in the UK. Prices in other markets will be release over the next few months.

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Lotus


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