The long-awaited Lotus circuit car should be with us early next year, according to Lotus head of product Tony Shute.
Shute revealed the prototype car at the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb last year, but said that its development had been put on hold while work on the Europa was completed. Now that that car is on sale, along with the new Elise S, and work on the replacement for the Esprit supercar is well advanced, Lotus is looking to push ahead with the circuit car.
Based on the same platform as the Elise, the circuit car uses the same highly tuned 1796cc four-cylinder Toyota engine as the Elise R and Exige. As in the Exige S, it also has a supercharger, though it is mounted behind the engine, rather than on top, with the air intake on the side.
Shute said that the lack of a windscreen and roof meant airflow to the supercharger was improved over that in the Exige. Factor in the circuit car’s lower weight (this is perhaps the best modern exponent of Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s “add lightness” philosophy) and we can expect even better performance than the already seriously quick Exige S.