The Lotus Elise Type 25 embodies the heritage that is Lotus’ remarkable Formula One history. The original Type 25, the car that made Jim Clark a legend and established Lotus as a major force in F1, broke both technological and innovative boundaries just as the Elise does today.
Turning away from the ‘then standard’ tubular spaceframe, Colin Chapman, inspired by the Elan chassis, created the first monocoque racing car by sketching the design on a napkin over lunch with Mike Costin (also of Cosworth fame). Virtually built around Jim Clark, the car was secretly constructed in a small area of the then Lotus headquarters at Cheshunt and made its debut at the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix. The end of the season saw Lotus failing to win the championship by one point, a fantastic achievement by a radically new and different car, but the following season was to get even better. Clark and Lotus finished the 1963 season with maximum points securing both the Drivers and Constructors World Championships.
The same aluminium chassis and GRP body panel principles that were used in the construction of the Type 25 race car are now used to create the Elise, with the same principles of performance through lightweight and low capacity, high output engines at the heart of it’s engineering.
The Elise Type 25, built to commemorate the revolutionary racecar, mirrors its design, painted in Lotus Racing Green with twin metallic yellow stripes running front to back. Unique black Lotus styled six spoke wheels complete the racing look from the exterior. Inside, echoing the original, the interior includes perforated Ruby red leather seats, door panels and steering wheel centre. The heritage look is continued with red laurels embroidered onto the headrest of each seat and a Heritage Type 25 ID plate confirming it’s limited edition status as only 50 of these cars will be produced for the UK market. The car is also supplied with both hard top, maintaining the twin stripes, and soft top as standard.
The exposed aluminium chassis still remains one of the dominant features of the Elise as do its near legendary ride and handling characteristics. UK General Manager Ansar Ali explains “The Elise Type 25 is the second of our range of heritage edition specials. For a particular generation, green and yellow symbolises Lotus from the Clark and Hill era. The Lotus Elise Type 25 commemorates 40 years since the groundbreaking Type 25 won its first Grand Prix changing the racing world forever.”
Each Elise Type 25 will entitle the owner to an exclusive tour around Classic Team Lotus, home of the original Lotus F1 cars, an exclusive tour around Group Lotus plc, a copy of The Lotus Book signed by Johnny Herbert, certification of the cars details and its limited edition status, a Classic Team Lotus heritage model and personalised print of the Type 25 race car.
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