For the 1982 season, Team Lotus readied Type 91. Like its predecessor, the car was developed by Peter Wright and Martin Ogilvie, and once again boasted beautiful body lines. As in Type 88 and 87, the monococque was a carbon composite structure mace of nomex honeycomb sandwiched between kevlar-reinforced carbon fiber, once again entirely developed and built by Team Lotus. While rivals were adopting powerful turbocharged engines, Team Lotus had to rely on naturally-aspirated Ford Cosworth DFV entines. In this respect, the monococque's superior strength and lightness came in handy. To match the increase in cornering performance, suspension arms, uprights and even the gearbox casing that served as the mounting points for the suspension were all reinforced and upgraded. Like in Type 77, the wheelbase and front track were adjustable to suit each race course's characteristics. Although a new pull rod-type suspension was introduced at the British GP, it was not used in the race.
Type 91 was first raced in the second race of the 1982 season at the Brazilian GP in the hands of Elio de Angelis and Nigel Mansell On its maiden race, Mansell drove the car to third position at the finish, followed by a fourth place in Monaco. Elio de Angelis drove the car in 14 races, finishing six times in the points. This includes a win at the Austrian GP after taking the lead towards the end of the race and fending off a late charnge by Williams' Keke Roseberg to finish ahead by a margin of 0.05 seconds. This victory was the first for de Angelis, and the first since the 1978 Netherland GP for Team Lotus. For Team Lotus founder Colin Chapman, this would also be the last time he would be able to welcome a victory with his by-then-legendary throw of the cap as the car crossed the finishing line. This was also the 150th victory for the Ford Cosworth DFV engine and the last on board a Lotus car, concluding a long and illustrious history tracing back to Type 49.
On the same year, post-season testing at Donington Park saw Satoru Nakajima drive a Formula 1 car for the very first time at the wheel of Type 91. Right after attending this test, Colin Chapman succumbed to a sudden heart attack, passing away on December 16 of 1982.
As the last car of the Colin Chapman-lead Team Lotus era, and because of the dramatic race win it recorded, Type 91 remains to this day in the memories and hearts of many race fans.
Molded in gray, black, smoke and chrome-colored plastic; soft racing-type tires and decals are also included.