- Lotus has simply revealed a Kind 66 for the fashionable period, bearing the identical title as a automobile that was as soon as proposed, however by no means constructed, to enter the 1970 Can-Am championship.
- A run of 10 automobiles might be constructed, every with a seven-figure worth.
- The track-only particular can have a period-correct V-8, a contemporary sequential gearbox, and ABS.
Whereas there have been loads of Continuation fashions from long-established automakers, the Lotus Kind 66 is one thing totally different: a newly constructed model of a historic automobile that was designed, however by no means constructed. Now the British sports-car maker has introduced plans to create a run of simply 10 of a contemporary tackle what was initially proposed to be a Can-Am race automobile. Every of those track-only specials might be priced within the seven figures, and we’re promised they may have efficiency similar to that of a present GT3 race automobile.
Lotus dropped a teaser for this automobile final 12 months, on the identical time we have been instructed that it could be produced by the corporate’s new Lotus Superior Efficiency division. Now the Kind 66 has simply been revealed at The Quail in Monterey, the place Lotus has launched it as “testomony to the model’s need to reimagine one of the best components of its heritage, updating them in essentially the most exhilarating manner doable.”
The plain historic anachronism is that Lotus by no means competed within the Can-Am collection. The Canadian-American Problem Cup began in 1966, working a calendar that mixed races in each Canada and the USA, and rapidly established itself as one of the viscerally thrilling collection in motorsport’s most enjoyable (and harmful) period. Can-Am was run below Group 7 rules for what have been nominally two-seat automobiles, however with minimal technical restrictions. Can-Am automobiles quickly had power-to-weight ratios superior to these of up to date Formulation 1 automobiles.
53 Years Later, It Involves Life
Lola and McLaren dominated the early period of Can-Am, however Lotus put critical consideration into creating its personal entry within the late Sixties. Lotus founder Colin Chapman ordered Workforce Lotus draftsman Geoff Ferris to give you a design for a Group 7 racer. That by no means went past technical drawings and scale fashions, however it has been delivered to life 53 years later with the Kind 66.
The brand new Kind 66 would not have been doable with out sketches and designs equipped by Clive Chapman, Colin’s son and now the managing director of Traditional Workforce Lotus. Apparently, many of those have been present in a fireproof case containing 28 rolls of microfilm, a few of which contained photos of the Can-Am venture courting from September 1969. These have been by no means changed into a full-size automobile as Lotus was too busy with quite a few different motorsport commitments, but when the venture had gone forward it could possible have turn into the Kind 66.
The brand new automobile is completed in a period-appropriate shade of purple, white, and gold, the colours the Formulation 1 group competed in because of Lotus’s pioneering tobacco sponsorship on the time. Different improvements are additionally shared with the group’s F1 automobiles of the period, together with using side-mounted radiators. On the rear is an unlimited rear-width wing, which has seen considerably extra improvement work than would have been doable within the early Seventies: Lotus says that greater than 1000 hours of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modeling has gone into creating the Kind 66. The corporate quotes a peak downforce determine of greater than 1764 kilos at 150 mph, a determine it says is greater than the automobile’s complete weight.
The unique Lotus Can-Am proposal by no means superior far sufficient to achieve an engine, though it could have nearly actually adopted the instance of rivals and raced with American V-8 energy. McLaren used Chevrolet engines all through its period of dominance, with the big-block 8.3-liter engine within the 1971 M8F reported as making over 800 horsepower.
Lotus hasn’t confirmed which producer’s engine might be within the Kind 66 however says that will probably be a “period-representative V-8 pushrod.” This has a cast aluminum crank, pistons and con rods, plus a spectacular set of particular person induction trumpets, and is focusing on an influence output of an estimated 819 horsepower at 8800 rpm and 550 pound-feet at 7400 rpm.
The brand new automobile’s construction might be much less interval acceptable, with a central carbon-fiber tub. Physique panels might be aluminum, so it will not look too trendy, and Lotus says it’s going to additionally characteristic electrical energy steering, a contemporary sequential racing transmission with an anti-stall system, and even an ABS system. Throughout simulator testing it has matched the efficiency of a GT3 race automobile, and Lotus says that on circuits like Laguna Seca it ought to really be faster.
Tempted? Do not wait too lengthy to get your title onto the checklist; Lotus says it is just going to supply 10, with every costing “in extra of £1 million.” That is practically $1.3 million at present trade charges.
Senior European Correspondent
Our man on the opposite aspect of the pond, Mike Duff lives in Britain however stories from throughout Europe, typically past. He has beforehand held employees roles on UK titles together with CAR, Autocar and evo, however his personal automotive tastes have a tendency in the direction of the Germanic, proudly owning each a hard 987-generation Porsche Cayman S and a Mercedes 190E 2.5-16.