The Emira might be Lotus’ last-ever pure ICE sports car, but it’s not going out without a bang. The British sportscar maker has just unveiled the Emira GT4 race car on its Hethel test track, the first new model from the Lotus Advanced Performance division, and will be sold to customers participating in various entry-level sports car racing globally.
Serving as the follow-up to the hugely popular Evora GT4, the new Lotus Emira GT4 sports the same Toyota 3.5-litre supercharged engine underneath its rear cover, delivering a total of 406 hp (before balance of power adjustments). But unlike the road car, the GT4 also gets a MoTeC engine management system, and an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox to send drive to the rear wheels.
Underneath the familiar “advanced composite” bodywork hides the two-way Ohlins TTx dampers, new anti-roll bars, a larger 96-litre FIA-FT3-certified fuel tank, competition-level brakes, and a Bosch motorsport ABS system. For rubbers, the Lotus Emira GT4 gets a set of Pirelli GT4 tyres from the factory with 265 front and 305 rear sections, wrapped around 18-inch forged aluminium wheels.
As it’s a full-blown race car, the Emira GT4 is of course built to meet the latest safety regulations, and will be homologated for all racing series. The interior is completely stripped out, and replaced with a FIA-homologated six-point roll cage, HANS-approved seats with six-point harness, as well as other required safety equipment.
Lotus says that the Emira GT4 was tested at the Portimao Circuit in Portugal for an entire week to validate the car’s aero performance and component reliability. Since its initial announcement back in September last year, the Emira GT4’s development team has been focused on “precision engineering to deliver outstanding dynamics and high-speed stability”.
Lotus’ Director of Vehicle Attributes and former British GT Championship winner Gavan Kershaw, who has been heavily involved in the development of the Emira GT4, commented: “We knew we had an excellent starting point for the Emira GT4 because of all the work done to make the road car such a great performer. Showing off the GT4’s dynamic capabilities on the Hethel test track – which has shaped countless race cars and their drivers since Lotus moved to the site in 1966 – is a very special moment for me and all the team involved.”
Also present at Hethel for the Emira GT4 launch event was a Lotus Type 30 sports racer. The white (privately owned) 1965 GT is powered by a Ford 4.7-litre V8, and won the Whitsun Trophy at last year’s Goodwood Revival. Only 33 examples of the Type 30 were ever built, and it achieved numerous wins in the hands of Lotus legend Jim Clark and other racers.
The Emira GT4 is priced from GBP165,000 (approx. RM891k), excluding taxes and deliveries. Order fulfilments will begin 2022, with production ramping up for 2023 in line with global demand.
Closer to home, Lotus Cars Malaysia recently opened the order books for the road-going Emira, with pricing starting from RM1.13 million fully-taxed in Peninsular Malaysia, or RM457k in Langkawi without duties.