As we close for Press Colin Chapman introduced the new Formula One Lotus (seen above), which is the long-awaited successor to the Lotus 72 and the ill-fated John Player Special which turned out to be the Lotus 76. At the time of writing the new Lotus Formula One car is called the John Player Special, the car shown being JPS 11, but time and success will tell if it retains this title. It is soon to be put through a thorough test programme in readiness for the 1976 Grand Prix season and a series of five cars is planned. The test-circuit at the Lotus factory at Hethel is being improved to F1 circuit standards and a great deal of instrumentation is being installed. Salient features of the design philosophy of this new Lotus is the facility to build variations of wheelbase and track together with centre of gravity changes in order to assemble a car suitable for any circuit. The braking system is inboard for all four wheels and there are calipers fore and aft on each disc; these new calipers, designed in conjunction with Lockheed, also provide the pick-up points for the suspension members and the complete corner assembly of wheel, hub, drive-shaft, suspension, coil-spring/damper unit and brake assembly is a unit in itself, easily detachable from the monocoque chassis. The once fashionable air-box feeding the Cosworth DFV engine is replaced by the new-vogue side entries, while water and oil radiators are together on each side of the car. This wholly new Lotus, conceived by Colin Chapman and designed in detail by Geoff Aldridge and Martin Ogilvie, returns to the original basic Lotus conception of light weight, simplicity and function, design features of which Lotus seem to have lost sight of in recent years.
Shortly after seeing the new Lotus Formula One car Ken Tyrrell showed us a new and revolutionary Formula One car from the drawing-board of Derek Gardner. It was presented as a research vehicle for a future ELF-Tyrrell Grand Prix car, and if the practical testing on this new car meets the design calculations it will form the prototype for the ELF-Tyrrell in the spring of 1976. It was stressed that the car presented to us was strictly a test-vehicle which complies with the F1 rules as they stand at the moment, and it is known as Project 34.
Both of these new Formula One projects will be dealt with in greater detail in the November issue of Motor Sport, by which time the Lotus will have been tested and we shall have had the opportunity of observing the revolutionary new ELF-Tyrrell Project 34 undergoing its initial track-testing.