Ford made the chassis and Lotus contributed the drivetrain. Not quite the marriage between the companies you’d expect.
Matt Farah, lucky boy that he is, doesn’t just spend his days driving the newest and hottest hypercars and sports hatches that this world has to offer. Those are nice. We love hot hatches. We definitely love hypercars. But to focus only on Paganis and Focus RS’ is to miss out on the plethora of classic cars and modified versions that make the car world the diverse place that it is. One such slice of automotive history is the original Ford Lotus Cortina Mk2, a mashup that literally made history.
It’s a rare bird from 1967, one of only 4,000 built between 1966 and 1970, that was put together through a collaboration between Ford and Lotus. The Blue Oval donated the chassis and body to the project from its Cortina coupe, but the 1.6-liter twin-cam engine, the transmission, and the suspension tuning is all a product of Lotus' labor.
An engine of that size might not sound too impressive, but rest assured it makes the most of its 110 horsepower output thanks to the fact that it weighs as much as a gust of wind. Its power to weight ratio isn’t in the “Bonkers” territory, but this car isn’t all about performance. Built as a touring/rally car, the Lotus Cortina Mk2 was meant to be cheap and easy to tune so that racing teams could go to town on it without emptying their bank accounts. Plus it has the clout of being the predecessor to the Ford Escort. Farah has a good old time with it even if it’s technically one of Ford’s “disposable racing cars.”