The first new Lotus in over a decade, the Emira certainly caught our eye as well as the eyes of enthusiasts all around the world when it debuted in July 2021. With clean, classic Lotus lines and upwards of 400 bhp (298 kilowatts) turning the rear wheels, it will be the automaker's closing act for internal combustion performance. It won't go quietly into the night either, as now we have a full-on racing version to savour.
Technically speaking, the Lotus Emira GT4 seen here is a concept developed with RML Group. Lotus promises to properly unveil the Emira GT4 race car later this year at its Hethel test track, but we suspect you'll be getting pretty much everything you see here. What does that include? For starters, the racing version of the Emira is quite a bit lighter with a targeted dry weight of 1,260 kilograms (2,778 pounds).
Gallery: Lotus Emira GT4 Race Car
Lotus doesn't outline the exact changes made on the GT4; presumably, the weight loss comes through the removal of various creature comforts found in the road-going car. As such, inside you'll find a new Motec-supplied dash with data-logging and an FIA-compliant roll cage with a six-point harness, though to be fair that will add weight. A 96-litre (25-gallon) FIA-approved fuel cell replaces the petrol tank, and naturally you'll have upgraded suspension and braking systems. The flashy 20-inch wheels are replaced with race-focused 18-inchers at all four corners, shod with Pirelli GT4 tyres.
As for power, that's one area that doesn't appear to change. The only engine for the Emira GT4 is the supercharged 3.5-litre Toyota V6, making 400 bhp and paired exclusively to a six-speed xTrac paddle-shift gearbox. Some might find the powertrain a bit disappointing, but in a 1,260 kilogram car with a race-tuned suspension, that should be plenty to properly devour straightaways after taming corners.
There's no mention of cost or specific production targets at this point. Lotus says it will build a limited number of Emira GT4s for the 2022 racing season, followed by additional cars in 2023 to meet demand.