Lotus has launched the new Emira GT4 at its Hethel test track with a dynamic demonstration of the race car’s performance. Guests were treated to passenger laps of the famous 3.5-km circuit with Gavan Kershaw, director of vehicle attributes at Lotus and a former British GT Championship winner, at the wheel.

The track version of the Emira marks the start of a new era in performance GT racing for Lotus, the firm says. It is the first new model from Lotus Advanced Performance, the bespoke vehicle and experiential division of the business launched earlier this year. The Geely-owned brand says that the return to world motorsport is a key pillar of its transformation from a UK sports car company to a global performance car business and brand.

Almost all modern Lotus road cars have had race-ready siblings and the successor to the Evora GT4 continues the tradition. Each Emira GT4 customer will receive a homologated performance machine, hand-built with lightweight motorsport components and equipment to meet the latest safety regulations. The project is a collaboration between Lotus and RML Group.

Under the lightweight composite bodywork with optimised GT4 aerodynamics is Toyota’s race-proven 3.5 litre V6 engine with a dry sump and Motec engine management. The 400 bhp 2GR-FE is combined with a Harrop TVS 1900 supercharger and an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with paddleshift actuation and LSD.

Other race-essentials include a Motec dashboard with data-logging, motorsport wiring harness and a 96-litre FIA FT3-approved fuel tank with dry brake filler.

The front and rear double wishbone suspension come with two-way adjustable Ohlins TTx dampers and anti-roll bars at both ends. The Emira GT4’s brakes are of competition spec with Bosch adjustable motorsport ABS. Lotus chose Pirelli GT4 265 front and 305 rear tyres for the 18-inch forged aluminium wheels.

Of course, the GT4’s cockpit houses an FIA-homologated six-point roll cage, FIA-compliant HANS-approved seat with six-point harness, electronic fire extinguisher system and isolator switches.

Lotus says that since the September 2021 announcement of the Emira GT4, the development team has focused on “precision engineering to deliver outstanding dynamics and high-speed stability”. Hundreds of hours of validation work took place at Hethel, and the Emira GT4 headed to Portimao for a week over the winter – some of the pics you see here are from the Portugal track.

Better weather aside, Lotus says that Portimao is one of the most challenging circuits in Europe, making it the perfect destination to validate aero performance and component reliability.

By the way, the classic race car you see here is the Lotus Type 30 sports racer. This white 1965 GT is powered by a Ford 4.7 litre V8, is privately owned and won the Whitsun Trophy at last year’s Goodwood Revival event. Only 33 examples of the Type 30 were ever built and it achieved numerous wins in the hands of Lotus legend Jim Clark and other racers.

The racing Emira is priced from £165,000 (RM891,334) excluding taxes and delivery. Lotus aims to fulfil customer orders throughout 2022, increasing production for 2023 in line with global demand.

Last month, Lotus Cars Malaysia previewed the road-going Emira here. Order books for the junior supercar are open, and it’s priced at RM1.13 million fully taxed in Peninsular Malaysia or RM457k duty-free in Langkawi. Full report here.

GALLERY: Lotus Emira GT4

GALLERY: Lotus Emira First Edition in Malaysia