Type 49 and Type 79 honor Graham Hill and Mario Andretti's championship-winning cars
The Lotus lineup is getting old. With a fresh cash injection from Volvo's parent Geely, it could soon get some new products. But in the meantime, it's sticking to its tried and trusted models and the approach it's taken with them for years – decades, even. Namely, to roll out a seemingly endless line of special editions. Like these latest two. On its 70th birthday at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lotus has launched two new editions of the Exige that celebrate two major milestones in the marque's grand-prix racing history.
The Lotus Exige Type 49 pays tribute to the world championship that Graham Hill achieved in the Type 49 half a century ago. It's joined by the Exige Type 79, named for the car in which Mario Andretti performed the same feat 40 years ago. Outfitted by Lotus Exclusive, the Type 49 and 79 editions are decked out in liveries reminiscent of the championship-winning cars that inspired them: solid red for the 49 and motorsport black for the 79, with contrasting pinstripes, gold trim and wheels, red brake calipers, and special decals. Their interiors feature carbon-fiber seats and trim, black Alcantara, an old-school wooden gear knob, and accents to match their exterior treatments.
They're both based on the Exige Cup 430, packing the 3.5-liter supercharged V6 with hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Weighing just 1,056 kg (2,328 lbs), they'll rocket to 60 in just 3.2 seconds and top out at 180 mph. To be able to unveil our Celebration Exiges at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is truly historic," said Lotus CEO Feng Qingfeng. "These Celebration cars are a fitting tribute to our past, but they reflect our future and show that we’re still true to our principles in building the very best luxury sports cars.” These are the only two of their kind, but Lotus Exclusive will make yours just the way you want – with whatever inspiration strikes your imagination.