Sam Philip15 January 2010

Evora racer: one-track mind

Lotus announces a GT4-spec, 400bhp Evora Cup – and a one-make Evora Cup racer series. Coincidence? We think not

Evora Cup

Lotus is returning to F1 this year. This is excellent news, particularly if they act on the advice of the several hundred letters we have sent, ordering them to adopt a John Player Special gold-on-black livery.

If, however, you don't happen to be called Jarno Trulli or Heikki Kovalainen (or something of similar spelling) but fancy being a part of Lotus's racing renaissance, how about an Evora Cup racer?

Set to debut this week at the Autosport Show in Birmingham, the Cup racer is a quicker, harder, track-only Evora that's ready to race in a new one-make series called, inventively, the Evora Cup.

It's also eligible to race in the FIA's GT4 series: the road car's 3.7-litre V6 has been bored out to four litres, with power rising to somewhere around 400bhp (the road car gets 276bhp). That's a fair lump of power, all channelled to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential dog-box.

With a new aero package and lots of carbon fibre stuff, it weighs it at around 1,200kg, some 200kg lighter than road-going Evora. Adjustable dampers and bigger brakes complete the picture: a picture which, in short, looks rather excellent.

The cost of all this excellence? Around £120,000 before taxes, says Lotus, which is mighty expensive by road car standards but actually fairly reasonable by racing standards. And if you're quick, you might be able to recoup some of your outlay: a prize fund of around £90,000 will be available in the Lotus Cup race series.

Maybe it's odd that Lotus has chosen to base a single-make series around its ostensibly least sporty model. But we don't care - especially if some of that extra power makes it to the road-going Evora, a car which, despite its magnificent ride and handling, we've always felt could do with a bit more pace.

400bhp? Yeah, that'd do nicely...

Now watch Clarkson thrash the 2+2 coupe:  

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