Ultimate Evora on way

Lotus GT Racer
7 Jul, 2011 5:12pm Nick Gibbs

Lotus plans 400bhp flagship based on GT racer and a convertible is coming, too

The Lotus Evora is set to turn up the heat again. The Norfolk-based sports car manufacturer is planning a new high-performance flagship version of its 2+2 coupé – and a convertible variant is in the pipeline, too.

Inspired by the GT racer (pictured), the new hot model is set to eclipse the roadgoing 345bhp S version. Although details are scarce, expect a stripped-out cabin and an uprated version of the 3.5-litre supercharged V6, producing around 400bhp. And that’s not all. Lotus boss Dany Bahar has confirmed to Auto Express that an Evora convertible is on its way, while the firm’s Evora plug-in hybrid concept could go into production within two years.

Meanwhile, the standard V6 model will be given “147 improvements”, according to Bahar, including higher-grade cabin materials, a sportier exhaust note and sharper gearbox.

“The priority is to improve the quality, to give the car a soul, ” Bahar said. The revamped car will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The cabrio version is likely to share a roof mechanism with the planned soft-top Esprit. “We should have some commonality across the two cars, so we can start with developing a soft-top mechanism that goes into both,” said Bahar.

The firm will reveal a running version of the plug-in hybrid in October. According to engineers working on the concept, the 1.2 three-cylinder engine and twin-electric motor drivetrain produces 1,000Nm of torque, enough for a 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds but CO2 figures of only 55g/km. The production car could be ready in two years but will cost “double” that of the standard V6, meaning a likely price tag of £100,000.

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