In among a lot of significant anniversaries for Lotus in 2022, one stands proud: it’s 50 years since Emmerson Fittipaldi won his first of two F1 titles, with Lotus securing the teams’ championship alongside. And it was all done in perhaps the most famous Lotus race car of them all, the JPS-liveried Type 72.
An occasion like that couldn’t go unnoticed, and so we have this: the Lotus Evija Fittipaldi. There will be eight because that’s how many surviving 72s there are (plus it was Fittipaldi’s number for that championship-winning year), and they’re all spoken for, with deliveries scheduled for the start of next year. Obviously, every single one is hand-painted black and gold, but there are additional distinguishing features including the rotary dash dial made from recycled Type 72 aluminium. The great man’s signature also makes it to the interior, and an outline of the old F1 car is etched into the carbon roof.
Then it’s a case of black and gold wherever it can go, including black leather with gold stitching, black and gold wheels with black and gold calipers, a carbon and gold Lotus badge, gold air vent surrounds, gold pedals, gold start button… It’s never going to be mistaken for anything but an Evija Fittipaldi, put it that way.
Performance is identical to the regular Evija - though with more than 2,000hp from four electric motors, there won’t have been many prospective customers clamouring for more. As a reminder, Lotus claims an Evija will each 186mph in less than nine seconds ahead of its 217mph limited top speed, with a ‘target’ WLTP range figure of 250 miles.
The Fittipaldi is the creation of Lotus Advanced Performance, the bespoking division announced earlier this year. Presumably Lotus AP won’t just be applying old liveries to new cars, but you’ve gotta say this Evija does look sensational, charging around Hethel with Jenson Button at the wheel. With production underway now, presumably we aren’t too far from a 2,039hp Lotus EV that looks like this being seen on the road, which ought to be a moment to savour.
The former F1 world champion himself was in attendance for the Fittipaldi reveal, which featured all eight of those surviving 72s. He added: “It’s fantastic to be back at Hethel for such a special occasion. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this project and it’s been a wonderful experience revealing the car to some of the new owners. Having the opportunity to drive both the Evija Fittipaldi and my championship-winning Type 72 Formula 1 car on the test track at Hethel has been an incredible experience.”
1 / 18