At $1 million, even the price gets the heart racing. Welcome to Lotus's Formula One-inspired customer car.
As an experience -- euphorically and financially -- it ranks alongside Richard Branson's proposed Virgin Galactic space flights. The difference here is that you're behind the wheel, and you're all alone.
Well, not completely alone. Driving the Lotus Type 125 takes a bit of getting used to, and Lotus is there to help owners get the most out of themselves and the car. By placing an order for the Type 125 not only do you get a 560kg 640bhp state-of-the-art machine, you also get some very famous mentors: Formula One legends Jean Alesi and Nigel Mansell.
t's a bit like joining a golf club and your caddy turns out to be Nick Faldo. Or, if we're to compare it to a gentlemen's club -- for this is one of the most elite members clubs imaginable -- it's like walking into a drawing room to find Hugh Hefner and Noel Coward at the bar. Except here everyone's clad in Nomex, not silk pajamas.
Only around ten Type 125s are likely to be built by Lotus each year so, technically, there are fewer seats than in F1-proper. It's also -- going by the average 'pay driver' rate this season -- considerably cheaper.
The car needed to be designed to give a breathless and authentic Formula One experience while being forgiving, safe, reliable and possible for a mere mortal to drive. After all, few of the Type 125's millionaire owners will be professional racing drivers with torsos the shape of Toblerone.