Lotus is to offer a 'Type 72' limited edition version of the Exige S. The Elise got a Type 72 edition back in 2002, and now its hard-top sibling gets a similar makeover designed to remind us of the iconic John Player Special formula one car.
The Type 72 gets black paintwork with matching gloss black alloys complete with gold rims, and black and gold 'Type 72' livery in various places inside and out.
The Sport Pack is thrown in as standard, bringing black micro fibre ProBax sports seats with gold stitching, Bilstein dampers, a roll hoop, traction control, twin oil coolers and an adjustable front anti-roll bar. Each car also gets a special plate marking its build number.
There is an optional Performance Pack available which boosts power from 218bhp to nearly 240bhp, and adds launch control, variable traction control, AP Racing brakes and a bigger roof scoop. Quite significant upgrades, with a three grand price tag to match.
Just 20 Exige S Type 72s will be sold in the UK, to mark the 20 Grand Prix victories that the F1 car achieved. Each car will set buyers back £36,945 on-the-road, with no delivery date confirmed as yet.
The release of the special edition has been timed to celebrate the return of the Lotus brand to Formula One (even if it's not the Hethel boys themselves), by evoking one of the original Lotus F1's finest hours. Perhaps it hopes that some of the 72 magic will rub off on the new Malaysian team...
Spec on this car doesn't matter, it's all about the feelings it invokes.
One of the original Esprit JPS cars was owned by someone who lived down the road from us when we were kids. Regardless of how it is thought of now, at the time it was the coolest car we had ever seen up close and in the flesh.
And so it would not matter if it had bicycle peddles for performance, as soon as I saw that colour scheme, great fond memories came flooding back. I am sure that there are 20 thirty/forty somethings like me who would snap one up
I do quite like my "special edition" Elise. OK I wouldn't have paid significantly more for it than for a standard car, but there is definitely something slightly special about knowing exactly how many cars like your own there are.
Does type 72 stand for the number of 'special' editions that have been done of the Exige / Elise stable?
Honestly.. Great cars but the whole 'variant of the same theme' is wearing a bit thin no me. They seem to have been taking lessons from Subaru on the number of different variants of the same car they can do.