New Lotus Type 66: limited edition retro race car debuts at Monterey Car Week
The Type 66 references Lotus’ plan to enter the Can-Am race series in 1970 that was never realised
As part of its 75th birthday celebrations, Lotus has given itself a special present by creating the Lotus Can-Am racer that never was - the Type 66.
The new car will be limited to just 10 examples - a nod to the amount of races it would’ve competed in during the 1970 season of Can-Am, the Canadian and America race series that ran from 1966 to 1987. The Lotus Type 66 has a price tag ‘in excess of £1million’ and made its public debut at the 2023 Monterey Car Week event in California.
The British brand never made it to the Can-Am race series, but it did have plans for a car in the late sixties (which would have probably been called the Lotus Type 66) to compete in the championship. This new Lotus Advanced Performance project reimagines many classic Can-Am cues that would have appeared on that race car for the modern era.
Wearing a heritage-inspired livery, the Type 66 has made its debut at Monterey Car Week in California. Even though the Type 66 will be ‘track-only’, Lotus says it conforms to modern safety standards with reinterpreted designs and a full carbon fibre bodyshell.
The striking design isn’t just for show. The front wing is shaped to channel air through the car, underneath and onto the rear wings to generate downforce that exceeds the car's kerbweight.
Lotus says a mid-mounted ‘period-representative’ V8 push-rod engine powers the Type 66 with 830bhp and 746Nm of torque. Poking out the top of the engines are the air intake ‘trumpets’ that further emphasise the old-school look of the Type 66. Power is sent through a sequential gearbox and to give the Type 66 modern standards of driveability, there’s ABS and an anti-stall clutch, too.
The Lotus Advanced Performance special projects department plans to provide a range of other services in addition to halo projects such as the Type 66. The offshoot will produce limited-edition versions of Lotus’s production cars alongside a broad range customisation options for standard cars. LAP will also put on experience days, such as tours of the company’s new £100million Hethel production facility.
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