- One of two examples remaining in private ownership
- An incredible near-F1-specification racing car
- Includes a comprehensive spares package
- Wears optional John Player Special tribute livery
- Never raced in competition; the ultimate track car
On the eve of the 2010 Paris Motor Show, then-CEO of Lotus, Dany Bahar, whisked a dozen of the brand’s faithful to the automaker’s factory for an indoctrination into Lotus’ illustrious racing past. Then, they were taken by private jet to the Louvre Museum, where Lotus unwrapped its latest project: the T125.
Bahar envisioned something that harkened back to Colin Chapman’s earliest efforts at encouraging Lotus owners to take to the track. Also unveiled was a private racing league for the T125 called “the Exos Club.” Three months later, F1 legend Jean Alesi helped Lotus unveil the T125 and Exos Club program to the public at Autosport International in Birmingham, England. Testing of the first completed car was undertaken at the Vallelunga Circuit in Italy, where the FIA allows Formula 1 teams to test their cars.
The T125 makes use of Cosworth’s GP V-8, a 3.8-liter, 640-horsepower race engine capable of screaming to 11,000 rpm through a six-speed sequential transmission with a hand-operated clutch. The Cosworth V-8 is based on a 3.0-liter Indy racing design. Upsizing the engine made it more flexible and durable for capable drivers who do not necessarily have a Formula 1 background. Comprised primarily of carbon fiber and nomex, the T125 tips the scales at just 1,433 pounds. Unlike an actual Formula 1 car, the T125 can be started by its driver at the press of a button. Additionally, the T125’s cockpit is designed for a wider range of body types than the confining seating position of a true Formula 1 car.
Ultimately, this incredible legacy project proved too ambitious to get off the ground during a global recession. Just five examples were built, including C003, offered here finished in its factory-option John Player Special tribute livery. Of those five, two are retained by Lotus and one was donated to Casey Putsch’s Genius Garage Program. This makes C003 one of just two T125 examples remaining in private hands.
The T125 represents an audacious unrealized dream, and it is also a rare opportunity to acquire a car built nearly to Formula 1 specifications but for a broader audience. Since its 2013 delivery to a Lotus VIP in the United States, it has lived most of its life on static display, and is accompanied by a selection of spares. C003 has been largely unused and sits ready to be enjoyed as Bahar—and Chapman so many decades before him—would have wanted.