The automaker released two pictures of the special version 2+2 sports coupe, while also stating this:
“Let’s be clear on this: contrary to media reports, what you’ll see in Geneva is NOT an Evora facelift. It’s a taste of the future of Lotus product customisation. Merely the first toe in the water and a showcase of the potential future.”
* To serve as a base for future GT2/GTE racing cars
* To contend three endurance events this year
* Two other events are scheduled for 2012
Performance wise, the car is powered by a mid-mounted 4-litre DOCH V6 VVT-i engine, naturally aspirated and tuned by Cosworth, capable of developing 440 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 460 Nm (340 lb.ft.) of torque at 5,500 rpm.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a sequential 6-speed transmission, while other elements, such as a twin plate sinted clutch, a competition thermally coated exhaust manifold and a performance air filter, also play their part in aiding the driver get the most of the potent powerplant.
The 67bhp 1.3-litre, three-cylinder unit weighs just 58kg. A concept version was used in Jaguar’s Limo Green development car and Lotus has worked with Spanish powertrain specialist ***or Ederlan to develop it for series production.
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This race-inspired hardcore version of the Lotus Evora will be Lotus’s star attraction at this weekend’s Pebble Beach show in California.
The Lotus Evora GTE Road Car Concept takes its inspiration from the new Evora GTE racer, which competes in the new GT2-replacing GTE category in Le Mans Series racing.
The Road Car Concept remains a one-off at present and Lotus is remaining tight-lipped on its production chances. Officially, Lotus describes it as not “merely a paint scheme or homage to a race car – this is a serious race car that makes for a very serious road car”.
Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has said previously the current range of Lotuses would be fully improved and updated, and a flagship Evora would be a logical product launch to bridge the gap between the current range and Lotus’s new five-strong range of sports cars.
The concept is powered by a race-developed 420bhp version of the standard Evora’s 3.5-litre Toyota engine. The V6 unit is mated to a sequential AMT racing gearbox.
It sports a series of muscular styling upgrades over the standard Evora, including a body kit with a more aggressive front-end and a large fixed rear wing. Lightweight forged alloy wheels with centre lock hubs wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres also feature.
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Named after the GTE class cars that Lotus is currently racing in Europe, this concept is essentially a blend of that competition racer with a street-legal Evora. In many ways it’s not as far from reality as one might guess, with the race car based heavily on the Evora road car and even sharing the same aluminum tub.
Thanks to a near excessive use of carbon fiber the concept weighs between 200 and 300 lbs less than the production Evora S, while the engine gets a healthy bump in power. With a modified version of the Evora S’s supercharged 3.5-liter V6, power is raised from 345-hp to 420-hp. No acceleration figures have been provided by Lotus, but with the stock car running 4.3 seconds to 60 mph and this concept also sporting a sequential transmission, a high 3.0 second time is certain.
Inside, the car is coated almost entirely in carbon fiber, with no carpeting to speak of, while carbon-backed seats are swathed in ultra-grippy Alcantara.
Lotus has yet to confirm if the Evora GTE Road Car Concept will go into production but PR boss Kevin Smith assures us it’s not as distant an idea as it seems, and that a race car inspired Lotus street car could hit the market as early as next year.
In many ways a road-going version of the Evora GTE race car, the road car holds the title of the most powerful Lotus street car ever, with a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 pumped up to 444-hp.
Using the same aluminum tub as the regular Evora, but with a significant wide body (by several inches), the production model gets plenty of functional aerodynamics, including a large rear wing – that we’re glad to see has replaced the highly-stylized, but rather un-functional one found on the concept.
According to Lotus an initial production run of 25 units was offered in China, but having sold out immediately the British automaker has decided to offer the car to fans in markets elsewhere. What exactly those markets are isn’t yet clear, but out past discussions with Lotus Cars USA PR Boss Kevin Smith have indicated that meeting strict U.S. crash and emissions regulations is unlikely.
Just the Facts:
-Hybrids just got hotter with word that the Lotus Evora 414E Range Extender Hybrid Electric Vehicle is undergoing testing ahead of schedule.
-The Goodwood Festival of Speed saw a cutaway version of the exotic hybrid over the weekend.
-Lotus is a participant in a U.K. electric/hybrid consortium aiming to build a supply base for electric and hybrid vehicles.
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Built for the gentleman racer, Lotus Evora GT4 costs £125,000 and can reach 62mph in around 3.0 seconds. It's powered by a 4.0-litre V6 engine with 355bhp, so how does it stack up on track? Steve Sutcliffe is about to find out.
According to official sources, the most significant changes are happening under the skin. The Evora will gain 15 per cent more power and less weight in order to compete more effectively with the other sports cars of the market. The current model is powered by a Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6, producing 280hp in the base model and 350hp in the supercharged Evora S model.
Lotus calls it the Evora 400 after it tweaked the sports car's supercharged and charge-cooled mid-mounted 3.5-liter V6 engine to deliver 400hp and 410Nm of torque, an increase of 45hp and 10Nm respectively over the current Evora S.
With this newly found power, the Evora 400 is 0.3 seconds faster than the Evora S in the 0-60mph sprint at 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2 sec), and an impressive 6 seconds faster at the brand's test track in Hethel, Norfolk. It also tops out at 186mph (300km/h).
According to Lotus, "over two thirds of the Lotus Evora 400 is new", and that includes the more intricate/fussy styling of the front and rear ends of the car, the redesigned cabin, the extruded aluminum chassis tub, the updated manual and automatic transmissions – the former gets a standard Torsen-type limited slip differential (LSD), new brakes and wheels. In keeping with the brand's tradition, the Evora 400 shed 22kg or about 49 pounds in the process.
"The Evora 400 is the fastest road-going Lotus that we have ever produced, possessing performance that can only be matched by cars costing significantly more," said Lotus Cars boss Jean-Marc Gales. "It delivers supercar looks allied to supercar performance."
The new Evora 400 will enter production for European markets in the summer with deliveries to commence in August this year, while North American markets will get the car as a 2016 model year presentation this fall.
The most powerful production Lotus ever – 42 kg weight reduction and with an increase of 55 hp over the previous model, the new Lotus Evora 400 is a superior machine in every aspect. Dynamically more capable, lighter and faster, this translates into a lap time of 1 minute 31 seconds around the test track at Lotus HQ, Hethel, a full 7 seconds quicker than the previous model.