Lotus revives 1970 Kind 66 mission as limited-edition observe automobile

Lotus shocked attendees of this month’s 2023 Monterey Automotive Week in California with the reveal of the Kind 66, a limited-edition observe automobile based mostly on a race automobile that Lotus designed within the late Nineteen Sixties however by no means acquired round to constructing.

The unique plan for the Kind 66 was to enter it within the 1970 Can-Am Sequence. Lotus founder Colin Chapman needed to see how his firm’s light-weight ethos would fare in Can-Am however a give attention to Method 1 meant Chapman by no means acquired his want, regardless of Lotus’ lead draughtsman on the time, Geoff Ferris, having accomplished a lot of the design of the Kind 66.

To assist have a good time Lotus’ seventy fifth anniversary this yr, the corporate has now introduced plans to place the Kind 66 into manufacturing. Simply 10 examples will likely be constructed, as a nod to the variety of races the automobile would have competed in throughout the 1970 Can-Am season, and every will likely be priced from greater than 1 million British kilos (roughly $1.27 million).

To develop the automobile, Lotus depends on unique drawings, a few of which have been within the possession of Clive Chapman, Colin Chapman’s son and the present director of Lotus’ traditional automobile division. Utilizing these drawings, Lotus was capable of create computer-generated 3D pictures to assist finalize the design.

Lotus Type 66

Lotus Kind 66

Some modifications have been made, principally to satisfy trendy security requirements. For instance, Lotus has added an inboard gasoline cell, sequential transmission with anti-stall, a carbon-fiber physique, and a bolstered driver compartment.

Efficiency features have been enhanced too, notably with regards to aerodynamics of the underbody. Utilizing trendy computational fluid dynamics, Lotus has managed to create a design that generates greater than 1,763 kilos of downforce at 150 mph.

“Whereas the visible expression is strikingly much like what may have been—together with the period-correct white, crimson and gold graphics—the know-how and mechanical underpinnings of the Lotus Kind 66 characterize the easiest in in the present day’s superior racing efficiency,” Simon Lane, who heads the mission, mentioned in a press release.

In accordance with Lotus, simulator testing has proven the Kind 66 will probably match the efficiency of a contemporary GT3 race automobile.

Lotus Type 66

Lotus Kind 66

The chassis consists of extruded aluminum, bonded joints, and aluminum honeycomb panels, which was much like what Lotus was utilizing on the time. A hard and fast roll cage has additionally been added for security.

One of many actual highlights of the design is a pushrod V-8 engine that Lotus has developed purely the mission. The mid-mounted engine, full with cast aluminum internals and trumpet-style air intakes, is claimed to ship 830 hp at 8,800 rpm. The intakes, which have been a typical website throughout the Can-Am days, create laminar circulation whereas additionally rising volumetric effectivity, serving to to enhance combustion and in flip increase energy.

Lotus hasn’t mentioned when deliveries will begin.