Open Wheel Cars by Patrick Callahan

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I love open wheel cars. While they may not look very similar to the cars you and I drive every day, they are remarkable in the singular purpose of their design: to race. While we replace parts and even systems of parts, every nut, washer and fastener on an open wheel car has already been optimized for speed.

I have two things to share on this topic. The first is the current crop of F1 cars. These are on many levels the baddest machines in all of racing, requiring hundreds of millions of dollars to build and run each season. The level of design complexity in the cars this year is astounding. Just look at some of the front wings! You can find pictures of all the latest models here including some exciting new teams and the return of Lotus F1.

To bring this post back around to being relevant to this blog, it’s worth higlighting how many aftermarket companies have had involvement in some form of open wheel racing. Some companies like Cosworth got their start in open wheel racing and have more recently brought their know-how to parts available to the public. Other companies like HKS with their F1 project are interested in showing off their technical abilities and building brand image.

For TODA, involvement in F3 has been an integral part of how the company is run for decades. F3 is a tightly governed and highly competitive international racing series with high-level national championships in many countries including Japan. If you can be competitive in F3, you can certainly make parts that will meet the needs of enthusiasts. To highlight one small example of the demands of F3, engines are fully stressed components and stock blocks are integrated into the chassis using gorgeous valve covers and oil pans that bolt to the carbon tub.

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CG: Joshua Cloud GT5 Exige Rendering

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Josh Cloud just sent me a great rendering he recently completed of a Gran Turismo 5 inspired Lotus Exige GT1. I thought you’d all enjoy his rendering, so here it is!

Josh Cloud CG Rendering Lotus Exige GT1

Source Material:

Josh Cloud CG Rendering Lotus Exige GT1

Thanks Josh!

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The Car That Beat HKS’s Carbon Time Attack Evo – A Lotus

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 Lotus Exige 300RR

A big super mega thanks goes out to our reader Moe6 from Malaysia for the info leading to this feature.

I first saw this car a couple of years back in a full feature spread placed in UK’s Evo Magazine (easily the worlds best car magazine written in English). When I first saw it I was extremely impressed but it appeared that it was just a concept car to try and show off some of the race prep capabilities Lotus has. It was meant to be their vision of a GT racer using the Exige chassis, but at the time they didnt seem to have any further plans for it. They ultimately called it the Exige 300R.

At the time it looked to me that the car would do the show circuit as a fancy Lotus concept car and that’d be the end of it. A damn shame that would have been if my thoughts were correct…

Here are some of the specs:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Put This In Your Pipe And Smoke It – Tommy Chong Meets Lotus Elise

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The Lotus Eco Elise Concept features hemp made body panels and other natural materials. The car is actually 70lbs lighter than the standard Elise! Top Secret hemp (HRP) widebody coming soon?!? LOL.

Cadillac had a special Snoop endorsed car…I move for Lotus to make this the Tommy Chong edition Lotus Elise!

Lotus Eco Elise Hemp

Seriously…I cant make this stuff up…this is perhaps one of the coolest things I’ve ever come across. This car maintains hardcore performance, yet has cutting edge eco friendly technology. There are not many eco oriented cars at this level. Naturally the Tesla is based on the Elise but I think this concept car is more impressive than the Tesla and probably more fun to drive as well. I would have never guessed that using hemp and other eco materials would give increased performance compared to traditional methods! Talk about a win-win…

All images are 1920pix hi res, enjoy the details of this incredible concept car.

Lotus Eco Elise Hemp

Lotus Eco Elise Hemp

Lotus Eco Elise Hemp

Lotus Eco Elise Hemp

Check the Lotus Press Release on Serious Wheels:

http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/2008/top-2008-Lotus-Eco-Elise.htm

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