The suitably rapid expansion of the Lotus Racing division is showing no signs of slowing down. The British marque has its own Formula One team, is supplying engines to the IndyCar Series, oversees both GP2 and GP3 teams, has competition versions of its road cars in various GT and rally championships, runs its own karting program, and offers enthusiasts top-notch trackday programs with the Evora GT and Exos/Type 125 single-seater. But that's not enough: now Lotus is gearing up to take on Le Mans.

The company was planning to design its own LMP2 racer, and it had snagged the designer of the 908 HDi away from the now-shuttered Peugeot Sport racing program. But that apparently didn't go quite as smoothly as planned, so Lotus has instead opted to back an independent team to run a second-tier Le Mans prototype on its behalf.

That team is Kodewa, headed up by former HRT F1 team principal Colin Kolles and his father Romulus. They'll be running a chassis built by Lola and powered by a BMW V8 prepared by Engine Developments – the same arrangement by which Lotus is powering its Indy program. The car, as you can see, features the same iconic black and gold livery as other Lotus racers, penned in this case by Daniel Simon – a former Volkswagen Group designer responsible for the Tron:Legacy lightcycles and the livery run on last year's HRT F111.

Look for the Lotus LMP2 to debut when the FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off here at Sebring in March, with a second car expected to join at Spa in May. Press release after the jump.
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Kodewa and Lotus choose Lola LMP for 2012

Two more Lola LMP2 Coupes have been announced by a new Lola customer today. The German-based Kodewa team has entered Lola LMP2 coupes, designed and built in Huntingdon UK, in the new FIA World Endurance Championship.

Recognising the innovative design technology and title winning pace of the Lola LMP range, Kodewa have partnered with Lotus Group who will supply the engines. The Lola B12/80 LMP2 Coupes are set to run in the black and gold livery, first made famous in the 1970's. It will be the second famous colour scheme to be represented by Lola in 2012, as the classic blue and orange of Gulf Oils will adorn the Gulf Racing Lola LMP2 cars this season.

Commenting on the latest order for Lola, Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane said: "We have had a very successful winter at Lola with eight LMP cars having been ordered. We believe that new entries in sports cars are recognising the technical capabilities and iconic brand of Lola. It is pleasing that Kodewa, sponsored by Lotus, has chosen Lola to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 hours, this year."

The cars will feature the latest Lola development bodywork (see above), refined in the company's on-site 50% scale wind tunnel in Huntingdon.

Lola continues to be the benchmark in LMP racing, having taken the 2011 Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series manufacturers' titles. Lola was also the first petrol powered LMP car to finish last years Le Mans 24 Hours.

The 2012 season begins for Lola at the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida on March 17th.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Jonathan Arena
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
      J D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man Oh my Lola - lo - lo - lo - lo - Lola - lo - lo - lo - lo - Lola
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love racing, I love cars, I used to love Lotus. LMP2 is where they should be and eventually LMP1 but with Lola and BMW power? Absolutely not! This company, which I no longer consider Lotus, is an abomination run by a cluster F***. There are so many problems with this company where do I begin: The cars that you and I can buy right now, the Evora and what is left of Elise and Exige. None of these are selling well and given the price point and market for each, every single dollar you add to the price just makes it easier to buy Porsche instead. I respect Porsche, I don't love them but I would at this point without hesitation buy the Porsche. The Esprit? Other than an iconic name and past, what is really exciting about what we have heard so far? In all likely hood it is simply going to be a more powerful Evora, (ie) bigger engine and more horse power and even bigger price tag. What truly made Lotus great was its small simple sports cars. Soon maybe, we will only be able to buy the Evora, great car but to pricey, Esprit, lets not go there again and used Elise and Exige models. While I whole heartily believe that sports car and endurance racing is where they should be, I think those resources are much better spent in engineering their road going models. The money they spent to buy into and rename the Renault team should have meant the head of the idiot who runs this company; and while I love Indy, this over the top push into the series is stupid and pointless. Again I love racing and the more entrants the better but this one makes no sense and I think is actually harmful to the company. Pull F1, Indy and some of the other odd and stupid ventures and I can totally get behind a Lemans LMP effort, not this particular one but one of their truly own making. I haven't even started to talk about how and what they manufacture their cars from and the whole structure of the company itself right now, I would need more than 3000 characters, but I leave you with this: It's been done many times before, is right now and will be in the future, but slapping your badge on someones elses car has never been respected and I suspect never will: A Lola with a BMW engine is not a Lotus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Powered by a BMW? Why not power it with a lotus????
        • 3 Years Ago
        Because Lotus doesn't have an engine yet to use. Toyota probably didn't want them using their engines in fear of them actually stealing the spotlight with a Le Mans win in the LMP2 class IF Toyota were to win the LMP1 class.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Sorry Elmo but that is ridiculous. What car company wouldn't want to take top honors in LMP1 and LMP2 at LeMans. This has nothing to do with Toyota wanting or not wanting anything. The idiot who runs Lotus has, at a minimum, strained the relationship between Lotus and Toyota. Yes the idea of a company producing its own engine is great, but if any of you can tell me why Toyota engines in Lotus cars has been bad I will eat my hat. Bullet proof reliability and when combined with the traditional Lotus ethos(no pun intended) of performance through light weight, then this was just about a match made in the heavens. The one piece of your Elise or Exige you knew would never go wrong and didn't, was its Toyota engine.
      • 3 Years Ago
      For some reason this picture makes the car look kind of....stubby. The wheelbase seems a lot shorter than what I am used to seeing from this type of race car but I think it is just the angle that the picture was shot which makes it appear that way.
      • 3 Years Ago
      that is one hot livery
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