Lotus is releasing its first special edition supercharged Elise, the Clark Type 25 Elise SC, to honor legendary F1 driver Jim Clark who died four decades ago at the Hockenheim circuit. The British Racing Green and yellow color combo was inspired by Clark's Type 25 F1 car in which he won the world championship in 1963, and aside from the standard hardtop, black and silver Lotus racing wheels, black leather seats, red trim and wooden shift knob, this is the same Elise SC available abroad. No mechanical changes have been made, so it's still putting out 218 hp and 156 lb.-ft. of torque from its supercharged 1.8-liter mounted amidships. In tribute to Clark's racing number, Lotus is limiting production of the special edition Elise SC to 25 units and will only make the £35,995 coupe available in the UK and Ireland. Hit the jump for Lotus' press release.
Type 25 celebrates the life of Jim Clark
Jim Clark is considered by many as the finest and most naturally gifted racing driver of all time. He won the F1 World Championship twice for Team Lotus in 1963 and in 1965.
In total, he won 25 Grand Prix races and was the first Briton to win the Indianapolis 500. Clark won a third of all the F1 races he entered, as well as racing in other formulae such as F2, F3 and Touring Cars. Typically he would race in as many as three different categories per race meeting! How many of the current crop of F1 drivers would do that?
In tribute to Jim Clark's achievements, Lotus, in association with Classic Team Lotus, is producing the Clark Type 25 Elise SC, with a donation for each of these special cars sold going to the Jim Clark memorial fund. This Elise, limited to just 25 cars in the UK (25 being the Type number of his 1963 Lotus F1 car and his number of F1 wins) has been authorised by the Clark family and coincides with the 40th anniversary of Jim Clark's death at Hockenheim in 1968.
The Clark Type 25 Elise SC will be launched at The Scottish Classic SpeedFair at Knockhill on the 8th of June 2008 and will form part of a weekend long tribute to Jim Clark. The Club Lotus Jim Clark Remembrance Weekend will take place over the 7th and 8th of June and promises to be a fantastic celebration of the life of Jim Clark.
Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus Plc comments, "It is fitting that the latest version of our award winning Elise, the Clark Type 25 Elise SC, should celebrate the life of Jim Clark. It is also an honour to be able to unveil the car at Knockhill this weekend. Each owner of the Clark Type 25 Elise SC will be joining an unrivalled heritage that recognises motorsport's greatest partnership, that of Lotus and Jim Clark."
The Clark Type 25 Elise SC draws upon many styling cues from the Type 25 Formula 1 car that Jim Clark raced to win the World Championship in 1963. The car, with a removable hard top as standard, is finished in British Racing Green with a yellow stripe along the centre and features high performance Lotus Sport wheels, finished in an historic black and silver design. The interior is inspired by the Team Lotus Formula 1 cars of the era, with black leather sports seats, trimmed with red leather and all finished off with a fantastic retro wooden gear knob.
The Elise SC is the most powerful production Elise ever produced and offers stunning performance. Power comes from a 1.8 litre non-intercooled, supercharged engine and uses intelligent cam switching technology, enabling the engine to switch to the high performance cam anywhere between 4000 and 6200 rpm. This clever feature gives the engine two characters, allowing the car to be driven economically or giving maximum performance for spirited driving.
The Elise's light weight gives low CO2 emissions, great handling and affords phenomenal braking. Another benefit of the low weight is incredible acceleration, with the sprint to 60 mph taking just 4.3 seconds and with 100 km/h despatched in 4.6 seconds. The Elise SC accelerates on to a top speed of 148 mph, which is 238 km/h.
All Lotus cars offer exceptional handling and the Elise is no exception. The chassis has a seriously light, stiff structure. Combining this technology with the fantastic Lotus ride and handling gives an inspiring driving experience and the mid-engined layout of the Lotus Elise offers fantastic balance and agility.
The Elise SC offers a few technological advances that Jim Clark may have found helpful in his Type 25. Coming as standard on the Elise is traction control, ABS and sequential shift lights, however all the driver aids are included to improve the driving experience and do not intervene unless really called upon.
The Clark Type 25 Elise SC is currently only available in the UK and Republic of Ireland and is on sale now. Price: £35,995 MSRP, and includes £5,750 worth of options for just £3,445. On the Road costs are £950 MSRP