Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars mark 40th, 50th & 70th
Lotus milestones at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018
• Lotus Celebration Exige Type 49 and 79 unveiled at Goodwood
• Marking anniversaries of World Championship winning F1 race cars
• Part of Lotus’ 70th birthday activity at the Festival of Speed
• Lotus Exige Type 49 debuts on the famous Hillclimb
• Celebrations show bespoke nature of Lotus Exclusive
With a pedigree and heritage like no other, Lotus has today unveiled two unique Celebration cars,
the Exige Type 49 and 79, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 to pay homage to some of the
most recognisable racers in the British brand’s history and its 70th birthday.
The Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars have been hand crafted by Lotus Exclusive in a salute
to Lotus’ 70th birthday, and the victory anniversaries of two historic race cars that helped define the
brand as one of the all-time great automotive marques. On display and in action over all four days
of the Festival of Speed weekend, with the Exige Type 49 competing in the timed supercar runs on
the Saturday, they’re a fitting tribute to one of the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of Lotus’
In 1948 Colin Chapman built his first competition car, in a small London lock-up garage, following
his own theories for improved performance. He formed Lotus in 1952 and from there the company
continued to innovate in both road and race engineering. Changing the very nature and intent of
car design for ever, Chapman was at the vanguard of a new way of thinking and his concepts are
as relevant today as they were 70 years ago.
Speaking of the unveiling, and the company’s 70th anniversary, Group Lotus’ chief executive
officer, Mr. Feng Qingfeng, said: “Lotus is an iconic British brand and its contribution to both the
world of motorsport, and development of sports car as we know them today, is undeniable. To be
able to unveil our Celebration Exiges at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is truly historic, especially
as the cars that inspired them are also here on display and in action. These Celebration cars are a
fitting tribute to our past, but they reflect our future and show that we’re still true to our principles in building the very best luxury sports cars.”
In addition to 2018 marking the anniversary of Lotus’ birth, it’s a milestone for two historic racers.
With the two one-off cars containing the marque’s DNA, the Exige Type 49 marks the 50 years
since Graham Hill clinched both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship in the Lotus
Type 49. The Exige Type 79 salutes the 40 years since Mario Andretti won his World
Championship, and Lotus the Constructors’ Championship, in the Lotus Type 79.
The Type 49 and 79 are just two of the cars that helped forge Lotus’ reputation in competition. In
Formula 1 alone it has more than 500 Grand Prix starts, complete with 81 victories and 13 World
Championships. As well as the laurels gained in Grand prix racing, Lotus has successfully
competed in Rally, Le Mans, Indy and saloon car classes around the world.
A Celebration of Cups
Far from being just for show, the Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars by Lotus Exclusive pack
phenomenal performance into one of the all-time great chassis designs. Based on the wildest ever
incarnation of the Exige the Cup 430, the Type 49 and 79 set the fastest lap time for a road car
around Lotus’ hallowed Hethel test track, covering the 2.2 miles in just 1 minute 24.8 seconds.
Showing its potential, the Exige Type 49 is taking to the Hill for the Festival weekend, with
demonstration runs over all four days and a sprint against the clock in the timed Supercar run on
the Saturday afternoon.
Employing a supercharger and chargecooler designed specifically for the potent engine, both the
Exige Type 49 and 79 possess 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,000 rpm. 0-60mph is demolished in just 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds) before they reach a
top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).
As the leader in lightweight sports cars, the Type 49 and 79 maximise the benefits of the latest
technologies and advanced materials to weight just 1,056 kg in their lightest configuration,
bestowing the Celebration cars with a power to weight of 407 hp / tonne. In addition to cutting
mass, the carbon composite body panels also deliver the cars’ distinctive styling and aerodynamic
set up. The high-gloss visible weave components include the front splitter, front clam, air blades,
unique bargeboards, roof panel, rear tailgate, straight-cut wing and diffuser surround.
Aerodynamically evolved, the cars deploy up to 220 kg of downforce through the careful
management of airflow under and over the car. Air curtain elements and louvers in the front clam
panel efficiently regulate turbulence and drag, and reduce pressure within the front wheel arches,
increasing downforce. The cut-out sections behind the rear wheels also reduce wheel arch
pressure, while the high mounted straight rear wing and rear diffuser plant the cars to maximise
traction and stability at high speeds.
With Nitron three-way adjustable dampers (tuning rebound, as well as low-speed and high-speed
compression) and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, as standard, the cars use
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear), fitted on ultralightweight,
fully machined, forged aluminium wheels. Superior stopping power is provided by
forged, four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and race-derived two-piece, J-hook brake discs –
provide improved bite and consistent stopping power after high-intensity track work.
A Celebration of Lotus Exclusive
These two unique Celebration cars perfectly demonstrate the appeal of Lotus Exclusive, which
offers Lotus buyers a unique ownership proposition by combining traditional British craftsmanship
with modern design.
Developed by the in-house Design team, the Exclusive scheme has been conceived to inspire
customers to further personalise the character of their Lotus cars. With the ability to tailor vehicles
to their taste, it provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car – covering everything
from colour coding through to race car preparation. Establishing itself with new buyers, roughly one
third of all new Lotus cars built feature some form of personalisation.
Both the one-off Celebration Exige Type 49 and 79 appearing a Goodwood Festival of Speed have
been curated by Lotus Exclusive to provide a bespoke yet tasteful interpretation of the marque’s
two iconic race cars. Inspired by the famous racing colours schemes of their namesakes, they
connect the brand to its past but anchor it to the present, with the formidable Exige Cup 430.
Respectively finished in solid red and motorsport black, the 49 and 79 augment subtle but sharp
contrasting pinstripes on the front splitters, front access panels, bargeboards, roof panels and rear
wings in Championship Gold. Comprehensively composite in nature, both incorporate carbon fibre
front splitters, air curtains, front access panels, side intakes, hard top roof panels, lightweight full
tailgate panels, straight rear wings and rear diffuser finishers into their design. Ultra-lightweight
gold painted wheels with diamond cut rims, and red brake calipers, seal their appeal along with
unique Type decals on each rear buttress.
Inside, each cars’ racing colours are referenced, with Lotus’ in-house manufactured carbon race
seats trimmed in black Alcantara®, and finished with colour keyed red and gold, or black and gold,
contrast double stitching. This is echoed by the door panels and face-level vents, transmission
console, and complemented by the cabin’s anodised aluminium and carbon fibre elements –
including door sills and an instrument binnacle cover. Topping off Lotus’ acclaimed open-gate
manual gearbox, designed specifically for fast and fluid shifts, is a wooden gear knob.
With every single Lotus Sports hand built by a team of skilled craftsmen and women, the Lotus
Exclusive scheme draws on the collective to create something exceptional for the customer.
Including everything from non-standard paint colours, stand-out roof panels, tasteful colour decals,
as well as contrast brake calipers, the same level of attention can be centred on the cabin, with
bespoke upholstery and finish options available.
Lotus Exclusive is available on all Lotus cars, from the entry level Elise to the range topping Evora,
with a full range of performance options making it truly made to measure.
A Celebration of Champions – the Lotus Type 49 and 79
As two cars that cleared the field before them and dominated the sport, the Lotus Type 49 and 79
F1 single seaters are as memorable for their design and colours schemes as they are for their race
victories. Part of Lotus’ unrivalled motorsport legacy, they are exemplars or the brand DNA as
defined by company founder Colin Chapman.
Designed to accommodate the new Cosworth DFV engine, the Lotus Type 49 won its first race
with Jim Clark at the wheel in Zandvoort 1967. The following year, resplendent in the Gold Leaf
colours, it powered Graham Hill to his second World Championship, and Lotus to the Constructors’
Championship, and It continued to win races until 1970. Its four-year reign at the front of the grid
marks the Lotus 49 as one of the most significant racing cars of all time.
Equally as inspiring, the Lotus 79 is regarded as one of the most visually stunning F1 cars ever
built – especially in the John Player Special livery. With the underside of the car designed as an
inverted wing, the resulting reduction in air pressure beneath the body dramatically boosted
aerodynamic downforce. In the 1978 season the Lotus Type 79 proved almost unbeatable, helping
Mario Andretti to the F1 Drivers’ Championship and Lotus to the Constructors’ Championship.
Lotus is proudly celebrating its 70th anniversary at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 as an
Automotive Partner of the event. This year’s Festival will allow visitors to see some outstanding
cars from the marques’ past running the Hill. This includes Jim Clark’s World Championship
winning Lotus 25, Graham Hill’s World Championship winning Lotus 49, Ayton Senna’s first F1
race winning car, the Lotus 97T, and the revolutionary Lotus Type 56 gas turbine Indycar.
Acting as the centre of the celebrations, Lotus’ current line-up of sports cars will be proudly
displayed on the company’s stand in the main exhibitors’ space. This includes the Celebration
Exige Type 79, which is appearing with a Type 79 racing car campaigned by Mario Andretti as part
of his Championship winning year.