It was obvious that the 78 was something special though, as proved by Andretti and Gunnar Nilsson who won once in Belguim. When the car worked well it was almost uncatchable. Other teams started scrambling to design their own version for 1978. The problem they had was that they didn't know exactly what was so special about the car, as Chapman and other members of Lotus came up with any number of excuses to hide the real reason. That as well as the skirts, which hid any view of the underside of the car.
The 78 was good enough to still be a winner in early 1978, with Andretti and Ronnie Petersen scoring a win each and another three pole positions before it was replaced by the Lotus 79, which was as far ahead of the 78 as the 78 had been ahead of the rest of the field in 1977.