• Dec 23rd 2009 at 8:00PM
  • 24
Lotus Exige S Type 72 - Click above for high-res image gallery

After a 15-year hiatus, Lotus is coming back to Formula One, and to commemorate its return to the top tier of motorsport, the Hethel crew is creating yet another special Exige inspired by the Type 72 that dominated F1 in the Seventies.

Like nearly every other limited edition Lotus released in the last few years, the Exige S Type 72 is little more than a repainted, kitted-up version of its midship masterpiece. The supercharged, 1.8-liter inline four remains unchanged, putting out 220 horsepower and allowing the two-tone coupe to sprint to 60 in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 145 mph.

A set of carbon fiber ProBax sport seats swathed in black microfiber with contrast stitching ties in with the exterior's gold wheels and emblems, while standard twin oil coolers and an adjustable front anti-roll bar round out the mechanical upgrades.

Lotus has slated 20 Type 72s for sale in the UK, with another 20 destined for markets outside of the mainland (no word on U.S. distribution), each carrying a price tag of £35,995 or 40,332 euro. Not cheap, but then again, how do you put a price on nostalgia?


Lotus Exige S Type 72

The Lotus Exige S Type 72 celebrates the most successful F1 car of all time, the Lotus Type 72 Formula One car, which achieved 20 Grand Prix victories between 1970 and 1975.

The Lotus Type 72 was driven by such Lotus greats as Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx and won three Formula One Constructors' Championships (1970, 1972 and 1973) and two Drivers' World Championships (the first being won by Jochen Rindt in 1970 and the second by Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972).

The colour scheme of the Exige S Type 72 commemorates the famous and easily recognisable black and gold Lotus Type 72 livery and is finished by the same sign writer who painted racing cars for Team Lotus.

Performance through light weight has long been a Lotus philosophy. The 935kg Exige S Type 72 sprints to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 145 mph, 233 km/h. The Exige S Type 72 also offers class leading fuel economy and emissions, with fuel economy of 6.5 litres/100 km (43.5 mpg) on the Extra Urban Cycle and CO2 emissions of 199 g/km.

The Exige S Type 72 is a powerful supercharged mid-engined sportscar that is equally at home on the racetrack or open road. The intercooled engine has VVTL-i technology ensuring impressive performance all the way to the rev limiter at 8500 rpm.
The Sport Pack comes as standard on the Exige S Type 72 which has a bespoke high quality interior, including black micro fibre ProBax sports seats with gold stitching. Each car comes with a special build plate commemorating one of the F1 car's 20 Grand Prix victories. The exterior of the Exige S Type 72 features unique black and gold light weight wheels and is finished with hand-painted gold Type 72 and Exige S logos, (the Sport Pack also includes a T45 steel main roll hoop, Lotus Traction Control, twin oil coolers and an adjustable front anti-roll bar).

All Lotus cars offer outstanding handling and performance, and the Exige is no exception offering excellent dynamics and great driver involvement. Lotus ride and handling gives an inspiring driving experience and the mid-engined layout of the Lotus Exige S Type 72 offers fantastic balance and agility.

Luke Bennett, Operations Director for Lotus Cars Limited stated, "The Lotus Exige S Type 72 is an evocative sportscar, combining cutting edge handling and performance with the iconic Type 72 colour scheme, one of the most famous racing liveries of all time. The Exige provides an intense driving experience either on road or track and this limited edition is a worthy car to celebrate such a legendary racing car."

Clive Chapman, Director of Classic Team Lotus said, "The Type 72 was a very significant car for Team Lotus and indeed for the world of F1. It was a revolutionary design that pioneered the use of side mounted radiators to achieve its distinctive 'wedge' profile, which delivered a significant aerodynamic advantage. Furthermore, by minimising unsprung weight and using a torsion bar, rising rate suspension, tyre performance was excellent. The Lotus Type 72 design was so advanced that it was competitive for an extraordinary six years."
The Exige S Type 72 options include: Air Conditioning, Limited Slip Differential and the Performance Pack, which includes a power increase to 240 PS, larger AP Racing brakes, enlarged roof scoop (compared to the standard Exige S) and Lotus variable traction control and Lotus launch control.

To commemorate the impressive number of Grand Prix wins the Type 72 achieved, Lotus will be producing 20 of this special edition for the UK, a further 20 cars for mainland Europe and there will be a limited run of cars in Japan and selected markets around the world.

Lotus Exige S Type 72 prices:
UK Price: £35,995 MRSP, excluding on the road costs of £950
Euro zone price: €40,332, including delivery and other on the road costs, excluding local country tax.

Exige S: 199 g/km CO2
8.5 l/100 km (33.2 mpg) Combined Cycle
11.9 l/100 km (23.7 mpg) Urban Cycle
6.5 litres/100 km (43.5 mpg) Extra Urban Cycle

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      That Exige is amazing, I love the classic Lotus colorway.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just so they don't paint the F1 car in the old JPS livery (colourway ;-}).
      • 5 Years Ago
      So does the "Type 72" come from the historic nature of the name or the fact that this just about the 72nd special edition of the Exige/Elise platform that has come from Lotus?

      • 5 Years Ago
      cool car
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sorry Lotus but its time to give us a new car from scratch instead of different paint jobs on the prehistoric Elise platform.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh, does "Evora" ring a bell. It's a different platform (similar concept, but a new platform).
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Elise is chassis and platform is perfect the way it is. I dont want to see a new platform that is bigger and 300 pounds heavier. That's why they are making the Evora.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That "prehistoric" chassis is only 15 years old and still more advanced than 99% of the chassis out there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly... is this Lotus of Bugatti?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry, what I meant to say was start working on the Elise/Exige replacement, which the Evora isn't.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ..not sure what's 'prehistoric' about a rigid, light weight aluminum chassis design that's every bit as strong and efficient as any car of its type. I think until someone else can come up with a lighter, stronger design, Lotus is safe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If your skill surpassed that demanded by the Elise/Exige, than your comment rings true. However, I really doubt that is the case, and I also doubt you've even driven one to make this comment. I have, and it's still comparable to a current gen Cayman S, which I drove just a couple months ago.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its the Exige Bandit edition!
      • 5 Years Ago
      just another paint job...let em know when Lotus but a serius super engine to this car like the SR20DET
        • 5 Years Ago
        it is not a nissan engine it is the current toyota engine from the corolla and that was in the vibe. when you don't carry 4000 lbs of lard, you do not need a super serious engine.. sometimes it is not about the massive horsepower, because that is a one trick pony. a great car comes from the serious nimble platform that lotus supplies.

        if more grunt is required there are many people who can supply it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ....an engine that was last produced in 2002? By Nissan? Pretty sure Lotus is in cahoots with Toyota for engines.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Elise is the only car to put out more variants than the Mustang lol.
      I still wouldnt mind owning each variant mind you but seriously cut it out!!! You have your new car now don't ya?!?!?!?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think this is interesting seeing that the F1 team and the people in Heathel have nothing to do with each other.

      I guess since Proton is owned by the Malaysian gov't who have a stake in Lotus F1 and Proton owns Lotus and they can do this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I looked into this a little bit and this is not the first time that a Type 72 model has come from Lotus. The previous Type 72 was an Elise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah it's quite odd.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought I was going crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't care how long the Elise/Exige has been around, my eyes still light up when I see one in person.

      Funny, I was just looking at a Lotus Europa Special model.
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