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The Turbine-Powered Lotus That Was So Good It Got Banned

• Wired.com

This slide from relevance is a real bummer, but it also serves as a reminder of the brand's career highs. It had the brilliant, lightweight Elise. The James Bond submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me (which Elon Musk bought last year). It made the cars that Hennessey turned into the world's fastest production car, and that Tesla used for the all-electric Roadster.

Lotus' racing heritage may be less well known, but it's equally impressive. Take, for example, the 1968 Lotus Type 56. Made for that year's Indianapolis 500, it was one of the most technologically advanced race cars ever made. It was gas-powered, but instead of a traditional internal combustion engine, it had a turbine engine, similar to what you find on jet aircraft.

Unlike a traditional internal combustion engine using pistons, a turbine system sucks air into a combustion chamber where the high-pressure hot air ignites to power a fan, which turns the driveshaft.

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