Lotus has revealed a new competition-spec GT4 challenger based on the Emira sports car, which debut in July. Almost all modern Lotus road cars have had race-ready siblings, so it was just a matter of time before the Emira GT4 surfaced – still, this is very soon.
Developed in collaboration with project partner RML Group, the race-ready concept is described as another milestone in the transformation that is taking place in every area of the Lotus business and brand, and an exciting new era in performance GT racing for the Geely-owned company.
Like in the showroom, the Emira will replace the Evora on the track. Over the years, the Evora GT4 has won races and championships including in British GT, Dubai 24hrs, Barcelona 24hrs, European GT, Sepang 12hrs and the Pirelli World Challenge.
Lotus says that each customer car will be a homologated performance machine, hand-built with lightweight motorsport components and equipment to meet the latest safety regulations.
The Hethel-based development team has focused on “outstanding dynamics and high-speed stability”. The composite bodywork makes the car very lightweight (1,260 kg, 145 kg lighter than the lightest road Emira) and, coupled with the race-proven 400 hp Toyota 3.5 litre V6 engine and optimised GT4 aerodynamics (nice big wing!), the Emira GT4 promises to be more than competitive.
The 2GR-FE engine gets a Harrop TVS 1900 supercharger and 7,200 rpm redline, and is mated to a six-speed xTrac transmission with paddle shifters and a limited slip differential. A Motec-supplied dashboard with data-logging and bespoke motorsport loom relays info to the driver.
The front and rear double wishbone suspension is combined with Ohlins coilover dampers and anti-roll bars, while Alcon discs and calipers plus Bosch Motorsport ABS do braking duties. The tyres are Pirelli GT4 265/645×18 in front and and 305/680×18 at the rear. Of course, there’s also the mandatory FIA-compliant roll cage, six-point harness and fire extinguisher.
“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,” said Richard Selwin, race programme manager at Lotus.
Gavan Kershaw, now the director of vehicle attributes for Lotus but previously a GT championship-winning driver for the marque, has been involved in the development of the Emira GT4 from the start. “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,” he said.
Lotus’ life on the track started with the Mark I, a trials car hand-built by founder Colin Chapman in 1948. The firm went on to win seven F1 constructors’ titles, six drivers’ championships and the Indianapolis 500. Earlier this year Lotus Engineering, the consultancy division of the business, became technical partner to JBXE, the Extreme E race team led by former F1 world champion Jenson Button – see the Brit test driving the Emira here.
The Emira GT4 will be officially launched later this year at the firm’s Hethel test track. Lotus aims to build a limited number of Emira GT4 race cars for the 2022 season, increasing production for 2023 in line with global demand.
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