The other takes track performance to the street, embarrasses supercars costing twice as much and is driven by the likes of…you. Two Lotuses 55 years apart but both called: Type 25.
The new one, out this week, is the Exige Cup 430 Type 25, a “collector’s edition” of 25 examples to pay tribute to its illustrious forebear, the first fully-stressed monocoque car in F1 and winner of seven out of 10 GP and the championship in 1963. It’s topical now because this is the 50th anniversary of the death of Lotus’s ’63 F1 champion, Jim Clark.
There’s plenty to pay tribute to then, as Lotus knows well. Hethel last paid tribute to the Type 25 in 2008 with a special edition of the Elise. It’s probably Hethel law that every car called Type 25 has to be green with flashes of yellow, but the new one adds to that by also being available in white. There’s no choice of gear knob though: that’s a ball of real tree, just as Clark would have used.
The Exige 430 Cup, powered by a supercharged V6, is already Lotus’s fastest “real world” car, what Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales calls “our ultimate point-to-point two-seater sportscar.” There appear no mechanical changes in T25 form so the spec (adjustable suspension et al) remains as impressive as ever, along with its impressive performance, with a 0-62mph sprint time of in 3.3 seconds and top speed of 180mph.
What extras are there for the 25 owners of this special Exige? There’s the paint job, a Lotus Exclusive custom livery with bespoke pin-striping and body decals, plus you get bespoke trim in the cabin along with a commemorative numbered plaque. With the lightweight titanium exhaust system as standard, along with some other weight-saving carbon bits, the T25 comes in a little lighter than a standard Cup car.
Well, it would be lighter as long as you don’t keep one other extra that comes with the car in the glovebox: that’s a copy of the book, Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion, signed by Clive Chapman and Bob Dance, Jim Clark’s principal mechanic.