Group Lotus and Cosworth Enter Strategic Partnership
Two of the most legendary names in automotive performance, Lotus and Cosworth, have signed an agreement that will see them work together to develop engines for future Lotus road and racing cars. Under terms of the agreement, Cosworth will supply "high performance engines based upon existing Toyota engines for future Lotus cars and the assembly by Cosworth of racing engines for all motorsport activities which are based on Toyota powertrains." The first of these Cosworth-prepped race engines will be the 3.5-liter V6 for the new Lotus Evora Cup spec racer. In commenting on the new pact, Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus, noted, "The ties between Lotus and Cosworth are, of course, already historical ones but our new strategic relationship is based purely on Cosworth's competencies, brand and race engine development capabilities." That said, the relationship between these two entities is truly unique in the annals of autodom.
The saga began in the '60s with the development of the Ford-funded Cosworth DFV V8. Co-created by Mike Costin and ex-Lotus engineer Keith Duckworth, it went on to become the most successful F1 engine in history collecting 155 Grands Prix wins between 1965-1983. A DFV V8 powered Colin Chaplin's team to five of its seven F1 World Constructors Championships as well as helping earn five World Driving Championship titles for Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti. Although the late and arguably greatest Lotus pilot ever, Jim Clark, notched his pair of F1 driving titles prior to the Cosworth era, in 1965 he took a Lotus-Ford to victory in the Indianapolis 500 to become the first driver ever to win that event in a mid-engined car -- a conquest that definitively ended the reign of the front-engined Indy roadsters.