Despite a lack of tending over the past decade or so, motorsports are the very deep roots of Lotus. The British sports-car maker knows that, and as it rebuilds its on-road product line—including a just-announced fully electric hypercar— it’s also aiming to get back on track in proper style. Enter the new, Britain-built Evora GT4 concept, which is aimed at global racing competition.
The team at Lotus’s Hethel, U.K., facility brings not just history but passion to the rebirth of the company’s racing efforts as it seeks to build on the last-generation Evora GT4’s solid record. Based on the roadgoing Evora GT430, the GT4 concept race car adds race-spec rubber, center-lock wheels, a huge rear wing, and a fully race-modified cockpit, plus all the requisite safety gear. Other modifications include upgraded aerodynamics for more downforce at speed (the Vmax of the race car is 170 mph), hybrid-composite body panels with partial carbon weave, removable canards and pressure-relieving wheelhouse louvers, an eight-point roll cage, and a six-inch TFT color display for data-logging and critical alerts.
At launch, the Evora GT4 will be piloted by a pair of factory racing drivers: 29-year-old Cui Yue and 25-year-old Gaoxiang Fan. Both are graduates of Geely University (Geely is Lotus Cars’ corporate parent, which explains the Union Jack/red-star flag livery) and have climbed the Geely-sponsored motorsports ladder to reach their position as Lotus factory drivers. In addition to piloting the cars, the factory duo will also demonstrate it at Lotus’s driver-training school in China, as well as public high-performance driving events. The Evora GT4 team and its drivers will get to the serious work of preparing for the 2020 racing seasonin Hethel this summer.
Look for more details on the Evora GT4 Concept race car and Lotus’s plans for racing it later this year.