Lotus Type 66 is the Can-Am race car that never was

Lotus Type 66 is the Can-Am race car that never was

Most car reveals for Pebble Beach are all-new luxury and supercars, faithful recreations of classics, or some unique restomods. What Lotus has revealed isn’t really any of those. The Type 66, while looking like a reproduction of a classic race car, is actually completely new, since it was never built in the first place.

Apparently Lotus was considering entering the Can-Am racing series back in 1970, a time when the company was seriously competitive in Formula 1. A designer by the name of Geoff Ferris was put in charge, and drawings and models were made, but the project, called Type 66, never went any further.

Those Type 66 designs survived, and to help celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary, Lotus decided to bring the car to life. And the result is not exactly what it would’ve been built for 1970. The design is very similar, and the red, white and gold paint is what Lotus would’ve used. However, the body has been formed from carbon fiber (something that was definitely not used) and makes much more downforce thanks to more than 1,000 hours of aero development. Specifically, it can produce 1,764 pounds of downforce at 150 mph, more than the weight of the vehicle. The frame is more traditional, though, being made of extruded and bonded aluminum and aluminum honeycomb panels.

The powertrain is a similar blend of vintage and modern. It uses a pushrod V8 of unknown manufacture, but with forged internals as well as modern fuel and engine management. It makes a huge 819 horsepower at 8,800 rpm and 550 pound-feet of torque at 7,400 rpm. It also has functional and classic-looking gleaming intake trumpets sticking out the back.

Safety and features that are thoroughly modern are also included in the Type 66. It has electric power steering, ABS, a modern fuel sell, sequential manual transmission and an anti-stall multiplate clutch.

Only 10 Type 66s will be built, one for every race in the 1970 Can-Am season. Each one will cost more than £1 million, or $1.27 million. And, unsurprisingly, it’s for the track only.

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