This year the legendary Central Feature at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, which takes place on 8th-11th July, will celebrate those pioneers of low-weight sportscars: Lotus.
FOS Central Feature to celebrate Lotus
It will be the first time the Norfolk brand, famous for its F1 racers and road-going sportscars, has been celebrated at the Festival since 2012, when an incredible “infinity loop” sculpture helped celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary, showcasing cars including the iconic Lotus 72.
This year’s sculpture, the design of which will be kept top secret until the Festival opens in July, will take a different philosophy and a new, immersive direction, allowing not only those at the event, but also fans watching from home, to interact with it.
This year is an important one for Lotus, with the beginning of a new long-term strategy that sees the end of production for the iconic Elise and Exige sportscars, and the introduction of their much-anticipated replacement, the Emira. Previously known only by the code “Type 131” the Emira name was announced late last month alongside some tantalising teaser images, with the full reveal expected in the coming months.
This new sportscar, which not only takes the place of Exige and Elise, but also the Evora supercar, will make its dynamic debut at the Festival of Speed, and will be the final petrol-powered Lotus to be made. The firm has already made strides toward an electric future, with the all-electric, 2,000PS, Evija hypercar having made its dynamic debut at Goodwood SpeedWeek in October 2020.
The histories of Lotus and Goodwood are intertwined, with the Lotus 25 still holding the official joint lap record on the Goodwood Motor Circuit of 1 minute 24.0 seconds, as set by Jim Clark on the Easter Monday meeting in 1965. In that race, the final Formula 1 race to be held at Goodwood in period, Clark tied exactly with Jackie Stewart’s BRM, and the time has stood as the official lap record ever since.
Speaking about the announcement, the Duke of Richmond said: "We are delighted that Lotus will star as the Central Feature at this year's Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard. Lotus cars raced with great success at Goodwood throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, including setting the ultimate lap record in 1965, and this year’s Central Feature will serve as a fitting landmark to their past, present and future achievements. The sculpture looks set to be one of the most dramatic and futuristic yet, bringing in elements of interactivity for modern audiences that align with Lotus’ future-facing attitude and outlook.”
Simon Clare, Executive Director, Marketing, Lotus Cars, added: “Everyone at Lotus is very excited by the opportunity to be the Central Feature at the Festival of Speed. This year is a hugely significant one for the transformation of Lotus, and to be giving a public dynamic debut to the Emira at a location so closely associated with Lotus’ success and spirit of innovation will be great for those who can attend, physically or virtually.”
More details of the celebration of all things Lotus will be revealed over the coming weeks, as well as information about how visitors and fans across the world can interact with the latest Goodwood Central Feature.
Tickets for the Festival of Speed are available from goodwood.com and the Ticket Office can be contacted on 01243 755 055.
Elise image by Joe Harding, Lotus 25 image courtesy of Motorsport Images.
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