Lotus Exige Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars pay tribute to iconic F1-winning racers


Both were unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Lotus Exclusive has crafted two unique cars for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, and both pay tribute to iconic race cars that won the F1 World Championship in the past.

The Exige Type 49 Celebration marks the 50 years since Graham Hill won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship in the Lotus Type 49 race car, while the Exige Type 79 Celebration salutes the 40 years since the Lotus Type 79 brought Mario Andretti and Lotus the world titles.


Lotus Exclusive handcrafted both one-off models starting from the Exige Cup 430, which set the fastest lap time for a road car around the Hethel test track, covering the 2.2 miles (3.54 km) in just 1 minute 24.8 seconds.


That means the Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars deliver 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lb-ft) of torque from 4,000 rpm, courtesy of a 3.5-liter V6 with supercharger and charge cooler. 0-60 mph takes just 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds), and top speed is 180 mph (290 km/h).


In their lightest configuration, the Type 49 and 79 tip the scales at just 1,056 kg (2,328 lb), allowing for a power to weight ratio of 407 hp/tonne. That’s made possible by carbon composite body panels, which also define the cars’ styling and aero setup. 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.


As with the stock Exige 430 Cup, the Celebration cars deploy up to 220 kg (485 lb) of downforce and feature Nitron three-way adjustable dampers, Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires sized 215/45 ZR17 at the front and 285/30 ZR18 at the rear. Stopping power is supplied by four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and race-derived two-piece, J-hook brake discs.


Styling-wise, the Lotus Type 49 and 79 Celebration cars feature the famous racing color schemes of their namesakes. The 49 and 79 are finished in solid red and motorsport black, respectively, and both cars feature sharp contrasting pinstripes on the front splitters, front access panels, bargeboards, roof panels and rear wings in Championship Gold. Ultra-lightweight gold painted wheels with diamond cut rims and red brake calipers are also on the menu.


The interiors echo the racing colors used on the outside and add goodies such as the carbon race seats trimmed in black Alcantara, carbon fiber and anodized aluminum trim, and the wooden gear knob for Lotus’ open-gate manual gearbox.

READ MORE: Lotus Exclusive will also build 25 units of the Exige Cup 430 Type 25