New Lotus Type 66 Is a Track-Only Toy for the Rich That Looks at the Brand's Racing Past

Lotus Type 66 11 photos
Photo: Lotus
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North America's Can-Am series ended up on the radar of Lotus' founder, Colin Chapman, in the late '60s, who decided to take a break from working on Formula 1 cars to focus on designing a racer for the aforementioned series. Dubbed the Type 66, the project never saw the light of day until recently, when the automaker brought it to life as part of their 75th-anniversary celebrations.
Designed with input from Colin's son, Clive Chapman, the new Lotus Type 66 is now real. It ate over 1,000 hours of work with Computational Fluid Dynamics, which led to a downforce of over 1,764 lbs (800 kg) at 150 mph (241 kph). That is significantly more than the original underbody would have been able to cope with, Lotus says, and the new racer with classic looks features enhanced performance for faster lap times and improved driver safety.

Speaking of the performance part, the modern-day engineering that went into it has allowed it to post some impressive lap times at famous circuits all over the world, including Spa Francorchamps, Silverstone, and Laguna Seca. It is actually as quick as a modern GT3 racer on these racetracks, and even quicker on others, like Laguna Seca. Power is supplied by a V8 push-rod engine mounted in the middle for enhanced handling. Lotus says it features an aluminum forged crank, rod, and pistons, and the result is over 830 hp (842 ps/619 kW) at 8,800 rpm and 550 lb-ft (746 Nm) of torque at 7,400 rpm.

Some of the new features include the sequential transmission, an anti-stall system, an inboard fuel cell, and a modernized cockpit. The model has a carbon fiber bodyshell, a front wing designed to improve the airflow and generate more downforce, and other optimized parts. Mind you, it was very tricky to make it highly competitive while sticking to the original design recipe, but it appears that Lotus has nailed this aspect when it comes to the Type 66, which manages to impress in each aspect, from the styling inside and out to the clever engineering, which also comprises a race ABS braking system and a motorsport power steering column, and the punchy V8 that powers it.

Unveiled at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, part of the Monterey Car Week in California, the all-new Lotus Type 66 is heading into production. However, as you can expect, it will be built in very limited numbers. The car manufacturer says that only ten copies of this track-only toy will see the light of day, so you should place a deposit as soon as possible if you desire one. You will, however, need to be loaded, as each one will cost well over £1 million, equaling almost $1.3 million at the current exchange rates.
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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
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After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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