Lotus expands racing commitment with Emira GT4

Sports Car News

Seven decades since Colin Chapman created his first Lotus trials car, the Norfolk firm aims to reassert itself in racing with the Emira GT4

Emira GT4

Emira GT4 signal's Lotus commitment to GT racing


73 years after the first Lotus car, the Mark I, took to the trials, the Hethel firm has reaffirmed its “transformation” by entering a new challenger into the racing ring – a competition-spec Emira.

Jenson Button, whose coachbuilding company Radford has reimagined the Lotus 62, helped to launch the road-going version of the Emira in July. Now, as an indication of the expansion of its motor sport division, the GT4-spec version will be eligible to compete in the European and British GT championship as well as endurance events such as the Dubai 24 Hours.

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The car has been developed in partnership with RML, the racing firm which first brought helped bring the Aston Martin Nimrod NRA/C2 into the fabled Group C category in the early 1980s, and in more recent years helped to developed the groundbreaking Nissan ZEOD RC which ran at Le Mans under the innovative Garage 56 banner.

The hand-built machine will be powered by Toyota’s 3.5-litre V6, which has also been used to push along the Elise, Evora and Exige, as well as Button’s Radford 62.

It follows the Evora GT4, launched in 2010, which won races in the British GT Championship and GT4 European Cup.

Gavan Kershaw, GT championship-winning driver at the wheel of Lotuses but now today Director of Vehicle Attributes for Hethel, has been involved in the development of the Emira GT4 from its inception. He said: “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.”

Button Emira

Button launched road-going Emira in July


“We are delighted to be collaborating with Lotus on the all-new Emira GT4 Concept,” Simon Holloway, Commercial Director, RML Group, commented. “Both companies have a long and successful motorsport pedigree, and to bring that together at such an exciting time for Lotus is a welcome validation of our vision and values.”

The car will get its first run later this year at the firm’s 2.2-mile test track.