New Lotus Type 66: Can-Am inspired track car unveiled with 830bhp

Using documents from a defunct Can-Am project from 1970, Lotus has designed a limited-run track car with an 830bhp V8

As legislation and emissions regulations push sports car manufacturers towards hybrids and EVs, certain brands are turning to track-only machines to satisfy demand for a pure, unbridled combustion-engine experience. Lotus is the latest to enter the space with this: the Type 66.

Limited to just ten units, the Type 66 is being built as a revival of a stillborn 1970 Can-Am car of the same name. With its direct motorsport inspiration and extreme rarity, the Type 66 will cost in excess of £1million, offering modern racing car performance and contemporary engineering beneath its retro exterior.

Formula 1 designer Geoff Ferris was responsible for the original sketches of the Type 66, with Clive Chapman – son of Colin and director of Classic Team Lotus – supplying these original documents to create the new model. The early closed-cockpit design has been honed and modernised using 3D modelling software, with more than 1000 hours of CFD aero testing to improve efficiency and downforce. The bodywork itself is carbonfibre, with a modernised cockpit and inboard fuel cell contained within a core aluminium structure. 

Other developments include a sequential gearbox with an anti-stall system – the original car would have used a H-pattern manual – along with a motorsport-grade electric power steering system and ABS. The engine, however, is old-school in nature – it’s a pushrod V8 that produces more than 830bhp at 8800rpm and 550lb ft of torque. Mounted behind the driver, the motor breathes through a bank of intake trumpets and uses forged aluminium for the crankshaft, conrods and pistons to withstand all that power. 

According to computer simulations, the Type 66 generates more than 800kg of downforce at speed, and matches – or beats – the lap times of a modern GT3 car. The Type 66 makes its public debut at Monterey Car Week, wearing a classical red white and gold livery inspired by the Lotus Type 72 F1 car from 1970.

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