Lotus has announced it will build a racing version of the new mid-engined Emira sports car. Designed to GT4 specification, the racer is primed to continue the successful legacy of Lotus in motorsport.
It follows the successful launch of the roadgoing Emira earlier this year, including a starring role at the prestigious Monterey Car Week in California.
Lotus has teamed up with Northamptonshire-based RML Group, makers of the Ferrari-based RML Short Wheelbase, to develop the harder, faster Emira. RML has extensive experience in motorsport, and will hand-build each new GT4 model.
The GT4 uses the same 3.5-litre Toyota-sourced V6 engine as the road-legal Lotus Emira, with a peak output of 400hp.
Upgrades will include a six-speed paddle-shift gearbox, Ohlins coilover suspension, a Motec digital dashboard and an FIA-standard roll cage. Bespoke aerodynamic bodywork will also be added, along with Pirelli GT4-specification tyres.
The new Emira will have high standards to live up to when it takes to the track. Its predecessor, the Evora GT4, claimed victory in multiple championships across the globe. Among its successes were class wins in the Dubai 24 Hours, Barcelona 24 Hours, British GT Championship and Pirelli World Challenge.
Lotus will formally launch the Emira GT4 at its Hethel test track later this year. A limited number of cars will be produced for the 2022 season, followed by larger run for 2023.
With a distinguished motorsport pedigree behind it, Lotus has recently made commitments to engage further with racing activities. Lotus Engineering, the company’s consultancy arm, is now working with JBXE, the Extreme E race team led by former F1 World Champion Jenson Button.
Richard Selwin, race programme manager at Lotus, commented: “The all-new Emira GT4 is an exciting next step following the hugely successful launch of the Emira road car. We have worked hard with the team at RML Group to ensure this next-generation of Lotus GT car will deliver race-winning performance.”
Gavan Kershaw, director of vehicle attributes for Lotus and a former GT racing driver, added: “The all-new chassis on which the Emira has been developed is the perfect starting point for a high-performance race car. Everyone at Lotus is so excited to be returning to world motorsport and to be doing so with such a competitive race car.”
John Redfern writes for Motoring Research