The 99T was the first Lotus chassis to be fitted with electronic active suspension. The system's benefits of a consistent ride height with no pitch or roll in the chassis came at a cost, as the system added significant weight to the car. Ducourouge clawed as much performance back by spending many hours in the wind tunnel to compensate.
The 99T proved to be very competitive at the hands of Senna, who won twice and scored six other podium finishes during the season. This helped him and the team to third in the drivers' and constructors' championship. Senna also provided a poignant footnote that season, as his win at the United States Grand Prix was the final Grand Prix win for Team Lotus before he moved to McLaren for 1988.
The 99T was updated for 1988 to 100T specification; the car technically was virtually unchanged, except for a redesigned nose section, longer wheel base and tighter rear bodywork. New team leader Nelson Piquet used the car to score consistently but was unable to add any further wins to Lotus' scoresheet however.