Lotus 25
Lotus 25
Race Car
Category Formula One
Constructor Lotus
Chassis Aluminum monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbone, with inboard coilover spring/damper units.
Suspension (rear) Lower wishbone, top link and radius rod suspension, with outboard coilover spring/damper units.
Engine 1.5 liter Coventry Climax I4
Transmission ZF 5DS10 5-speed manual
Tyres Dunlop
Notable entrants Team Lotus
Notable drivers 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jim Clark
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Trevor Taylor
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Mike Spence
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Peter Arundell
25px-Mexicoflag Pedro Rodríguez
Debut 1962 Dutch Grand Prix
Races competed 49
Race victories 14
Constructors' Championships 2 (1963, 1965)
Drivers' Championships 2 (1963, 1965)
Pole positions 14
Fastest laps 18
Designer Colin Chapman, Frank Costin


The Lotus 25 was a racing car designed by Colin Chapman for the 1962 Formula One season. [1] It was a revolutionary design, the first fully stressed monocoque chassis to appear in F1. An early brainchild of Chapman's fertile mind, the original sketches for the car were made on napkins while Chapman discussed his idea while dining out with Frank Costin (designer of Vanwall, Lotus Mk.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, and Lotus 16 bodies, later of Marcos fame), who is the brother of a Lotus engineer Mike (later of Cosworth fame).

Lotus 25 Jim Clark Donington

Jim Clark's Championship-winning Lotus 25, in the Donington Grand Prix Collection.


The monocoque made the car more rigid and structurally stronger than typical F1 cars of the period. The 25 was three times stiffer than the interim 21, while the chassis weighed only half as much.[2] As a result, the car was extremely low and narrow (frontal area only 8.0 ft², 0.74m² compared to the normal 9.5 ft², 0.88 m²[3])It was also envisaged to have a column gear lever, to keep cockpit width to a minimum, although this was only experimental and discarded. To assist this, the driver reclined sharply behind the wheel (an idea seen in the 18, and pioneered over a decade previously by Gustav Baumm at NSU[3][4]), leading to the nickname 'The Bathtub', while front suspension pieces were moved inboard (as in the 1948 Maserati).[5] The 25 was powered by the various 1496cc and 1499cc versions of Coventry Climax FWMV V8 in crossplane and flatplane formats. Later, Reg Parnell Racing in 1964 fitted BRM P56s of similar specification to their second-hand 25s. Such was 25's effect on motor racing, even today's modern F1 cars follow its basic principles.


Some privateers who had been buying Lotus chassis were disgruntled by the fact Chapman refused to provide them 25s. These teams, including Rob Walker Racing, were given Lotus 24s, while the works team had exclusive use of the 25 for Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor. When it first appeared at the Dutch Grand Prix, the futuristic 25 was inspected by John Cooper, who asked Chapman where he had put the chassis in the car.


The car gave Clark his first Grand Prix victory, at Spa, that year. He took another win in Britain, and again in the USA, which put him in contention for the title, but at the final race, South Africa while leading, a much publicised engine seizure cost him the title to Graham Hill.

Clark gained his revenge the following year, taking his first world championship in the 25, by winning 7 races, Belgium, France, Holland, Britain, Italy, South Africa, and Mexico. Lotus also won its first constructors' championship. In addition, 25s were entered at Indianapolis, where they trialled Lucas electronic ignition for Ford.[6] The 25 was used during the 1964 season, winning a further three races in Clark's hands. At the final race in Mexico, just as in 1962, the Climax engine developed an oil leak and with literally a lap to run Clark coasted to a halt in sight of world championship victory, this time conceding to John Surtees.

Clark went on to take the car's final win at the 1965 French Grand Prix before it was replaced by the Lotus 33. The Lotus 25 won 14 races, took 17 pole positions, and set 13 fastest laps.[7]

Classic EditionEdit

In 2008/9 Lotus launched a special edition of the Elise supercharged model in the original Lotus 25 racing colours. This had track standard sports suspension and traction control. A total of 25 of these Lotus Jim Clark Type 25 cars were produced for the RHD market.

Complete Racing ResultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers MON
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil)
22px-Flag of the Netherlands
22px-Flag of France
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom
Flag of Germany
22px-Flag of Italy
22px-Flag of South Africa 1928 svg
Points WCC
1963 Lotus Climax D 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jim Clark 8 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 1 54 (74) 1
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Trevor Taylor 6 Ret 10 13 Ret 8 Ret Ret 8
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Peter Arundell DNS
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Mike Spence 13
25px-Mexicoflag Pedro Rodríguez Ret Ret


  1. Automobile Year, No. 10, 1962-1963, Pages 198-199.
  2. Setright, L.J.K. "Lotus: The Golden Mean", in Northey, Tom, ed. The World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 11, p.1230.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Setright, p.1230.
  4. Wikipedia, Lotus 18.
  5. "Chapman was not concerned to be original, merely to be thorough." Setright, p.1230.
  6. Super Street Cars, 9/81, p.34.
  7. F1 Facts & Trivia. pp.113 - John White 2007

See AlsoEdit


Proton Holdings Berhad

Proton | Lotus Group Plc. | Lotus

Current: Elise · Exige · Evora

Upcoming: Elite · Elan · Esprit · Eterne

Historic: Excel · Eclat · Europa · Europa S

Concept: APX Concept · M90 · 340R · Exige GT3 · Hot Wheels Concept · Eco Elise Concept · M250 Concept · Evora 414E Hybrid Concept · Evora Carbon Concept · Etna Concept · City Car Concept · Elise Concept · Elan Concept · Esprit Concept · Elite Concept · Eterne Concept

Performance: Carlton · Cortina · Zytek Elise

Racing: T127 · 2-Eleven · Evora Type 124 · Evora Cup · Cosworth KV Racing IndyCar · Mk1 · Mk2 · Mk3 · Mk4 · Mk5 · 6 · 7 · Mk8 · Mk9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 20B · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 27 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 38 · 39 · 42 · 43 · 48 · 49 · 56 · 56B · 63 · 64 · 72 · 76 · 77 · 78 · 79 · 80 · 81 · 85 · 86 · 87 · 88 · 91 · 92 · 93T · 94T · 95T · 96T · 97T · 98T · 99T · 100T · 101 · 102 · 105 · 107 · 109 · 112 · 114 · 115 · 119 · Exos Type 125

Group Lotus · Lotus Racing · Lotus Sport · Colin Chapman

Colin Chapman Corporate website A Division of Group Lotus

External linksEdit

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News and References

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