Lotus' F1-inspired customer racecar, the Type 125, had its first official run out at the Italian track of Vallelunga earlier this week as F1 legend Jean Alesi and Lotus factory driver James Rossiter completed some 125 miles during the two-day test.
Commenting on the test, Lotus' Director of Motorsport Operations, Miodrag Kotur said: “We're very happy with the initial performance of the car. There are still some things that we want to improve on, but that's natural at this stage and that's exactly why we test. Between them Jean Alesi and James Rossiter have an incredible wealth of experience and they put this to good use in Vallelunga.”
Alesi, who was announced earlier this week as a "Lotus Type 125 Ambassador," said, “Testing is always a big challenge – it's a different kind of pressure to racing but you still can't relax for a second. It's great to be involved at such a crucial stage in the car's development – I really feel like I can help to make this car as fun to drive as possible.”
Added Rossiter: “The Type 125 is unique – it's intense, it's extreme and it's very raw. I can honestly say that I think it's the closest a ‘normal' person can get to driving an F1 car.
"Vallelunga was great. We learned a lot about the car there and I'm really looking forward to the next test in a few days, it will be really interesting to see how the car responds to the conditions of a very different track.”
Next week, the Type 125 will test at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, where Alesi and Rossiter will be joined by a "very special yet-to-be-announced test driver," according to Lotus – before 15 potential buyers get their chance behind the wheel.
The Lotus 125 is powered by a Cosworth 3.5-liter V8 engine producing 640hp linked to a 6-speed semi automatic gearbox with paddle shift. "Unlike a Formula 1 car, however, an army of technicians and mechanics is not required to start the engine and keep the car running," Lotus says. "The start button is all the driver needs to press to get going."