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Lotus 88small
Lotus 88
Race Car
Category Formula One
Constructor Lotus
Designer Colin Chapman
Peter Wright
Tony Rudd
Martin Ogilvie
Predecessor Lotus 81 / Lotus 87
Successor Lotus 91
Chassis Twin-chassis construction
Suspension (front) Top rocker arms, lower wishbones, inboard springs
Suspension (rear) Same as front
Engine 3.0 litre (2993 cc) Cosworth DFV V8
Electric_motor {{{Electric motor}}}
Battery {{{Battery}}}
Power N/A hp @ N/A rpm
N/A lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm
Transmission 5-speed Lotus/Hewland Manual
Weight 585 kg (1,290 lb)
Fuel
Brakes {{{Brakes}}}
Tyres Michelin/Goodyear
Notable entrants Team Essex Lotus
Notable drivers 11. Elio de Angelis
12. Nigel Mansell
Debut 1981 United States Grand Prix West
Races competed 0
Race victories 0
Podiums 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0

The Lotus 88 was an innovative ground effect Formula One car designed by Colin Chapman, Peter Wright, Tony Rudd and Martin Ogilvie of Lotus as a response to technical regulations introduced in 1981 by the FIA to curb the ground effects cars. The Lotus 88 made its debut at the first practice session of the 1981 season opener, the US Grand Prix West at Long Beach. Although the car was not allowed to race it beat the McLaren MP4/1 to be the first Formula One car with a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, the MP4/1 making its debut at the third Grand Prix of the season in Argentina.

History[]

By 1981 the ground effects cars were so efficient and so fast that the drivers were suffering from the tremendous g-forces involved in cornering and braking. The FIA banned the moveable skirts fitted to the bottom of the cars' sidepods that were vital for achieving consistent ground effect and regulated a mandatory ground clearance of 6 cm, in the interests of driver safety. The Brabham team were the first to circumvent the rules using hydropneumatic suspension systems which compressed under aerodynamic loading and lowered the Brabham BT49 onto the track. This had the side effect of rendering the car without any sort of suspension, causing the driver to be buffeted even more than before. However, the performance gains were such that other teams were soon following suit - although most had difficulty in replicating the Brabham system and used a simple switch to lower the car. Chapman had other ideas.

The earlier Lotus 86 had been designed at the time when skirts were still legal, in the same layout as the 88 but only one prototype had been built. The performance gains were relatively small but significant over conventional ground effects cars. When the skirts were banned, Wright studied the car and its performance without skirts. The loss in performance was largely negligible, so the 88 was quickly designed as a re-engineered 86. The 88 used an ingenious system of having a twin chassis, one inside the other. The inner chassis would hold the cockpit and would be independently sprung from the outer one, which was designed to take the pressures of the ground effects. The outer chassis did not have discernible wings, and was in effect one huge ground effect system, beginning just behind the nose of the car and extending all the way inside the rear wheels, thereby producing massive amounts of downforce. The car was powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV engine. Lotus drivers Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis reported the car was pleasing to drive and responsive. To make the aerodynamic loads as manageable as possible, the car was constructed extensively in carbon fibre, making it along with the McLaren MP4/1 the first car to use the material in large quantity.

Other teams were outraged at this exploitation of the regulations and protests were lodged with the FIA, on the grounds that the twin chassis tub breached the rules in terms of moveable aerodynamic devices. The FIA upheld the protests and consequently banned the car from competing. Chapman was adamant the car was legal and challenged the other teams and the FIA at every turn, but the decision stood. Chapman was forced to update two of his Lotus 87 chassis as replacements for his thwarted brainchild. The Lotus 88 therefore remains a curiosity from a bygone age of F1. Some of the 88's aerodynamics and layout were worked into the successful Lotus 91 which followed in 1982.

Gallery[]


Complete Formula One World Championship results[]

(key)

Year Entrant Engines Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points WCC
1981 Essex Team Lotus Ford Cosworth
DFV
3.0 V8
M USW BRA ARG SMR BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL 221 7th
Elio de Angelis PO PO DNP
John Player Team Lotus G PO
Nigel Mansell PO

^1  All points scored by the Lotus 81B and Lotus 87.

See Also[]


Lotus 25 Jim Clark Donington
Team Lotus

Founder

Colin Chapman

Notable personnel

Frank Dernie · Gérard Ducarouge · Maurice Philippe · Peter Warr · Peter Wright · Len Terry

Notable drivers

25px USA Mario Andretti · 25px Italy Elio de Angelis · 25px Great Britain Jim Clark · 25px Great Britain Martin Donnelly · 25px Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi · 25px Finland Mika Häkkinen · 25px Great Britain Johnny Herbert · 25px Great Britain Graham Hill · 25px Belgium Jacky Ickx · 25px Great Britain Nigel Mansell · 25px Japan Satoru Nakajima · 25px Sweden Gunnar Nilsson · 25px Sweden Ronnie Peterson · 25px Brazil Nelson Piquet · 25px Argentina Carlos Reutemann · 25px Austria Jochen Rindt · 25px Brazil Ayrton Senna · 25px Great Britain John Surtees · 25px Great Britain Derek Warwick · 25px Italy Alex Zanardi

World Champions

* 25px USA Mario Andretti · 25px Great Britain Jim Clark · 25px Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi · 25px Great Britain Graham Hill · 25px Austria Jochen Rindt

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Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Lotus 88. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.



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