Lotus Exos Type 125
Lotus Exos Type 125 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Lotus has taken the time to put its new civilian Formula One racer through its paces. The company enlisted the help of both Jean Alesi and James Rossiter to test the Exos Type 125 in its first official track outing. Rossiter serves as the company's official test driver, so he's been in the seat of some pretty wild machines. Even so, the racer says that the Type 125 is "unique, intense and extremely raw." On top of that, Rossiter claims the open-wheel beast is as close as a mortal human can get to man-handling the tiller of a genuine F1 car.

There's no surprise there. The Type 125 packs a 3.5-liter Cosworth V8 at its core with 650 horsepower. The miracle mill is strapped to a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox, and Lotus says that all it takes to wake the beast is a push of the start button. That means that owners won't require their own personal squad of mechanics just to get out of the paddock. If you like the sound of this machine as much as we do, you better know someone at Lotus. The company is only planning on handing out 15 examples of the Type 125. Hit the jump for the press release.


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[Source: Lotus]
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Lotus' F1 inspired customer race car, the Type 125, had its first official run out at the Italian track earlier this week as F1 legend Jean Alesi and Lotus factory driver James Rossiter completed over 200 kilometres during the two day test.

Commenting on the test, Lotus' Director of Motorsport Operations, Miodrag Kotur said: "We're very happy with the initial performance of the car, there are still some things that we want to improve on but that's natural at this stage and that's exactly why we test. Between them Jean Alesi and James Rossiter have an incredible wealth of experience and they put this to good use in Vallelunga."

Lotus Type 125 Ambassador Jean Alesi said: "Testing is always a big challenge, it's a different kind of pressure to racing but you still can't relax for a second. I enjoyed my first outing in the car, it's great to be involved at such a crucial stage in the cars' development, I really feel like I can help to make this car as fun to drive as possible."

Lotus factory driver James Rossiter said: "The Type 125 is unique, it's intense, it's extreme and it's very raw. I can honestly say that I think it's the closest a 'normal' person can get to driving an F1 car. Vallelunga was great, we learnt a lot about the car there and I'm really looking forward to the next test in a few days, it will be really interesting to see how the car responds to the conditions of a very different track."

Next week (25th and 26th January) the Type 125 will test at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi's F1 track, where Alesi and Rossiter will be joined by a very special 'yet-to-be-announced' test driver before 15 potential buyers get their chance behind the wheel.