Lotus doesn’t have to do a whole lot to sell enthusiasts on the Emira, its forthcoming sports car that will also supposedly be its last to derive its power from an internal-combustion engine. All it must do is what Lotus was once known and beloved for doing — put a strong engine in a featherweight car, right behind the driver seat. No fluff, no drama. The manufacturer fully revealed the Emira GT4 on Thursday at an event at its Hethel, U.K. headquarters, and while the race car looks very nice, it also looks very familiar.
The Emira GT4 will pick up where the Evora GT4 left off, with the very same engine: a supercharged version of Toyota’s 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6, developing 400 horsepower. In terms of packaging, we already know the road-going flavors of both cars are very similar — the Emira and Evora share a functionally identical wheelbase, length and height, with the Emira measuring just an inch-and-a-half wider than its predecessor.
GT4 cars are basically production vehicles stripped and strengthened for the track, so Lotus hasn’t had to go very far to render the Emira fit for competition. It hasn’t even needed to put the Emira on that serious of a diet. The company quoted that the road car tipped the scales at about 3,100 pounds, back during its launch last summer. The GT4 version sizes up at an in-regulation 1,300 kilograms, or 2,866 pounds.
Still, Lotus says it’s subjected its next grassroots racer to strenuous validation — “many hundreds of hours” of testing on the automaker’s Hethel track, its press release reads, in addition to a week’s worth at Portugal’s Portimão circuit. Those who wish to go racing in an Emira will have to fork over £165,000, or about $203,000, for the privilege.
This GT4-prepped version of Lotus’ latest looks great, and it has every reason to — it’s an Emira with a big wing and GT wheels. Over the Evora’s long life, some teams constructed GTE- and GT3-class compliant of the coupe, and it’s nice to wonder what an Emira might look like in IMSA, the World Endurance Championship or Super GT. You don’t need to wonder about what it’ll sound like though, because chances are you’ve already heard it before.