Lotus is building the Type 125 F1 car in series production, offering it for sale.
Wayne CunninghamManaging Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Like to drive really fast and have a spare $1 million? Lotus wants to meet your needs by offering the first series production F1 car for sale to private owners.
The Lotus Type 125 is a full-fledged F1 car, with a few modifications for general usability. But no, it is not street legal.
Composed of composites and carbon fiber, the car weighs in at only 1,411 pounds. The cockpit has been enlarged to fit the kind of people who can afford the Type 125, as opposed to the generally slim and short physique of professional F1 racers. But it still has FIA regulation headrests and a fire suppression system.
Not FIA sanctioned are some of the aerodynamics on the car, such as the rear diffuser.
The 640 horsepower comes from the Cosworth 3.5-liter V-8, revving up to 10,000rpm. That engine is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox. Lotus gave the engine cold start capability, unlike the power plants in F1 cars, allowing for smaller pit crews.
Instead of merely getting Type 125s off the lot, Lotus is creating an exclusive club around the car called Exos. Limited to 25 people, club members will race their cars on tracks worldwide, the selection of the tracks up to the members, with guidance from Lotus.
Type 125 owners will be able to store their cars at Lotus' facility in Hethel, U.K.
Lotus outlines a complete support program for the cars, including a primary mechanic and professional racing drivers to coach the owners.
These cars require more commitment than mere money, as Lotus also details a physical fitness regimen for owners, noting that drivers will be subjected to 4 Gs, or four times their body weight, while cornering.
The Lotus Type 125 might be the fitness program you've been looking for.