At last! The first official pictures of the Lotus Circuit Car, a track only special based on the Elise. Weighing a measly 650kg (1433 pounds), the car is powered by either the 190hp Toyota 2ZZGE (found in the Elise 111R), or the 240hp supercharged version of that motor. Surprisingly, the car features ABS and appears to have the same brakes as the 111R, which has received many negative reviews of the brake pedal feel (though the performance of the brakes has always been considered excellent). Suspension changes include Ohlins shocks (which greatly improve the ride of the standard Elise); around 100 cars will be built each year starting in 2006, with prices starting around £25,000 in the UK. Pricing and availability in other markets has not been announced. See the rest of this post for the full press release and more pictures.
“Circuit Car” will run for first time at Shelsley Walsh Centenary event
Lotus “Circuit Car” – Prototype Specifiations and Pictures:
The prototype Lotus “Circuit Car” will run for the first time at the
oldest motorsport venue in the world, the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, during
the Centenary celebrations.
Based on the strong, stiff and lightweight aluminium chassis first
seen on the Lotus Elise, and weighing in at around 650 kg, the single-seater
car (with an option of two seats) has been designed and engineered solely
for Track Days and Club Racing. The prototype car was designed and built in
an incredible eleven weeks and production versions are scheduled to be built
from mid 2006 in the world class production facilities at the Lotus
headquarters in Hethel Norfolk.
The Following Information Describes the Prototype Lotus “Circuit
The visually dramatic open-topped prototype “Circuit Car” has
lightweight composite bodywork and a very powerful supercharged and
intercooled 1.8 litre engine.
The innovative and technologically advanced extruded and bonded
aluminium chassis has high side sills that reduce the complexity of the
The engine with VVTL-i (Variable Valve Timing and Lift -
intelligent) is mated to a Roots-type Eaton M62 supercharger with air-to-air
intercooler to give a maximum power output of 243 hp (181 kW) at 8000 rpm
and a maximum torque of 174 lb ft (236 Nm) at 7000 rpm. On production
versions, an entry-level naturally-aspirated VVTL-i engine will also be
available with 190 hp (141 kW) at 8000 rpm and 138 lbft (181 Nm) at 7000
rpm. Engine management control is provided by the bespoke – mapped Lotus T4
system and a drive-by-wire electronic throttle.
The 6-speed C64 close ratio gearbox is linked to an open slip
differential and a prototype traction control system perfect for the tight
and twisty Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb course.
The power to weight ratio, of course a key Lotus engineering
principle and core brand value, for the supercharged engine is around 373
hp/tonne (278 kW/tonne) with a torque to weight ratio of 267 lbft per tonne
(363 Nm/tonne). It is estimated to achieve the 0 – 100 mph (160 km/h) sprint
in less than 9.0 seconds. This exciting combination has allowed for a
dynamic racing package producing higher performance to that of existing
Elise-based products, powering the car from 0 – 62 mph (0 – 100 km/h) in
under 4 seconds.
Braking is provided by a servo-assisted, track tuned 4-channel
Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Lotus/AP-Racing twin-piston fixed
aluminium alloy front brake calipers, Brembo single-piston sliding rear
calipers and 282 mm diameter, 26 mm thick front and rear, cast-iron
ventilated & cross-drilled discs.
The lightweight GRP composite bodywork is bolted to the chassis for
easy removal for maintenance and race / track preparation. The bodywork has
been designed by the Lotus Design team led by Russell Carr, Chief of Design
for Lotus. Russell Carr, explains the design philosophy of the new Lotus
“Circuit Car”: “The design captures the essence of the other Lotus based
products and combines it with a functionally correct bodywork to give a
racecar that is not only beautiful to look at but aerodynamically and
structurally as effective as it possibly can be,”
The small frontal area with no windscreen is combined with flat,
unsculptured sides with no air-intakes, for minimal drag; and a deep front
splitter and a large rear wing (single plane as standard and dual element as
an option) and a rear diffuser to attain maximum aerodynamic downforce.
For the Shelsley Walsh Event, the “Circuit Car” uses Lotus Sport 5
spoke forged wheels, which are shod with Yokohama A005 Hill Climb
specification racing slicks (Yokohama A006 racing wet tyres are an option).
For production versions, other tyre options will also be available.
Suspension and damping is provided by fully independent unequal
length wishbones, Eibach coil springs, Ohlins 2-way adjustable dampers and
an adjustable front anti-roll bar.
Tony Shute, Head of Product Development at Lotus Cars will be
driving the Lotus “Circuit Car” for its premier at the Shelsley Walsh
Centenary celebrations. Tony explains what makes the Lotus “Circuit Car” a
leading high performance track car:
“This new product has allowed Lotus to once again apply its key
“performance through lightweight” philosophy. This is in order to achieve an
innovative product for the track day and club racing Lotus enthusiast whilst
staying true to the key design attributes of the Elise and Exige products.
They are considered to be amongst the finest existing road and track day
cars by thousands of owners around the world, and the “Circuit Car” will
build on this formidable reputation, helping to further underline Lotus as
the ultimate driver’s choice.”
The Lotus “Circuit Car” is scheduled to go on sale by mid 2006 with
volumes of approximately 100 units per year.
The name of the “Circuit Car” and the Manufacturer’s Suggested
Retail Prices will not be confirmed until closer to production but it is
expected that the production versions of the Lotus “Circuit Car” will start
at around £25,000 for the 190 hp version in the UK. Prices in other markets
will be release over the next few months.
Technical Specifications of Prototype Lotus Circuit Car
Supercharged – 240:
* 2ZZ-GE Supercharged engine, developed by Lotus Engineering
* Capacity: 1,796 cm3
* Max Power 243 hp (181 kW) @ 8000 rpm (DIN 70020)
* Max Torque: 174 lb ft (236 Nm) @ 7000 rpm (DIN 70020)
Option – 190:
* 2ZZ-GE, 4 cylinder, dohc 4 valves per cylinder with variable valve
timing and lift
* Capacity: 1,796 cm3
* Max power: 190 hp (141 kW) @ 7800 rpm (DIN 70020) Integral ducts to
provide engine air feed and cooling
* Max Torque: 138 lb ft (181 Nm) @ 6800 rpm (DIN 70020)
* C64 Gearbox, all aluminium lightweight construction
* Close ratio
* Constant mesh helical gears
* Open differential
* Limited Slip differential (optional)
* Lotus designed lightweight structure of epoxy bonded aluminium alloy
extrusions and lightweight steel rear subframe
* Lightweight composite body shell
* Bolt on exterior body panels for ease of service and repair
* Integral ducts to provide engine air feed and cooling
* Flat bottom with front aero splitter and rear diffuser
* Aerodynamically designed body shape with minimal drag and frontal
* Single plane rear wing, high downforce, carbon composite, dual
element rear wing (optional)
* Fully independent suspension utilising unequal length wishbones
* Coaxial mono-tube gas damper
* Eibach coil springs at each corner
* Front anti roll-bar
* Bilstein dampers
* Ohlins 2-way adjustable dampers (optional)
* F&R Cross drilled disc brakes
* AP racing front brake calipers
* Brembo rear brake calipers
* 8 x Y spoke Cast wheels
* 7 – Twin spoke Lightweight Forged Wheels (optional)
* Lotus Sport 5-spoke Lightweight Forged Wheels (optional)
* Yokohama Advan AO48
* Yokohama A006 racing wet tyres (optional)
* Yokohama A005 racing slick tyres (optional) Passenger seat and
* Yokohama A005 racing slick tyres – Hillclimb Spec (optional)
* Lotus T4 engine management system – with Drive-by-wire throttle
* Lightweight dry cell battery
* Nardi Steering Wheel
* Single Sports Seat
* Passenger seat and harness (optional)
* 6-point harnesses (optional)
A variety of options will be available including:
* Optional dynamics improvement package
* Passenger seat and safety equipment
* Offering parts required to convert the Lotus Circuit Car to meet UK
Single Vehicle Approval.
* Options packages to tailor the car for entry into race series of the
FIA and MSA regulations.
A variety of options to tailor your vehicle to you, including:
* Limited Slip differential
* Traction control
* Race exhaust (105db)
* Racing tyres and wheel options
* Protective cover
The Shelsley Walsh Centenary Festival Meeting will run from Friday
19th to Sunday 21st August, with the Lotus “Circuit Car” turning out for
practice on the Friday ahead of its racing debut on the Sunday. Tony Shute,
Head of Product Development at Lotus Cars, will be in the driving seat.
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