When Lotus unveiled the all-new Emira sports car last July, it signaled things to come. With the company looking to shift towards an all-electric future, the Emira will serve as the brand's swan song for the combustion engine.
Despite Lotus moving away from the internal combustion engine in the coming years, that doesn't mean the company can't have fun with the Emira - especially when it comes to racing. In order to fully take advantage of the Emira's abilities, Lotus recently unveiled a racing version of the mid-engine sports car.
Called the Emira GT4, it's the company's first-ever race car since 2011. This race-tuned version not only gets a more aerodynamic exterior, but it's also lighter than its road-going counterpart.
“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 Program Manager at Lotus.
Developed in collaboration with project partner RML Group, the race-ready Emira gets a sleeker exterior courtesy of a custom aero kit. It gets a revised front bumper with additional air intakes, a huge wing at the back for extra downforce, and grippy Pirelli GT4 tires wrapped in 18-inch racing-style alloy wheels.
Despite not releasing any interior photos, Lotus did mention that they have removed some of the Emira's creature comforts in order to save on weight and meet GT4 racing standards. For starters, it gets an FIA-compliant roll cage, a six-point safety harness, and a Motec-supplied dashboard with data logging. We also won't be surprised to see a racing-style steering wheel and racing bucket seats inside the Emira GT4. To ensure the Emira's fuel tank doesn't catch fire during an accident, it has a 96-liter FIA-approved fuel cell.
With a target weight of 1,260 kg, the Emira GT4 will be significantly lighter than the road-going variant which already weighs in at a light 1,405 kg.
Under the hood, the Emira GT4 is powered by a Toyota-derived 3.5-liter supercharged V6. Like the road-going version, the engine cranks out 400 PS. But instead of having an automatic or manual gearbox, the GT4 comes with a six-speed xTrac sequential transmission with paddle shifters. Complementing the powertrain is a tweaked suspension that now comes with Ohlins coil-over dampers and Alcon disc brakes/calipers for improved stopping power.
Lotus has yet to reveal the price of the Emira GT4, but they did mention that they will build a limited number of examples for the 2022 racing season, and maybe more for 2023 to meet demand.
The Lotus Emira GT4 will officially be launched later this year at the company's Hethel test track – the same track that saw the development of some of the brand's most famous race cars.