Lotus unveils its latest racing car at the opening of a new site
6:00 p.m. May 5, 2022
As part of the opening of its new state-of-the-art factory in Hethel, Lotus has unveiled its latest sports car, the Emira GT4.
The race car was shown lapping up laps on the venue’s test track with former British GT Championship winner and Lotus director of vehicle attributes Gavin Kershaw at the wheel.
It sees the automaker enter the world of performance GT racing and is the first new model from Lotus Advanced Performance, the company’s bespoke vehicle and experience division, which launched earlier this year.
The advanced composite body of the Emira GT4 makes it exceptionally light, combined with Toyota’s race-proven 3.5-litre V6 engine and the optimized aerodynamics of the GT4 thanks to the Emira Road exterior design.
The demonstration took place during the opening of the Chapman Production Centre, a new sports car manufacturing plant, which was named after the company’s co-founder, Colin Chapman.
The new sub-assembly centre, located in Hethel, on the outskirts of Norwich, is part of a £100 million investment Lotus has made in its UK sites.
The facility will be used to manufacture Lotus Emira vehicles, which are sold worldwide.
It has the capacity to build around 5,000 cars a year and uses automation to ensure a consistently high quality finish for its vehicles.
As with all of its Norwich sites, the center is powered by 100pc of renewable electricity.
Matt Windle, chief executive of Lotus, attended the opening with Clive Chapman – son of company founders Colin and Hazel Chapman – and Mr Chapman’s sister, Jane Payton.
Mr Windle said: “Lotus is transforming from a British sports car company into a truly global performance car company and brand, and the new Chapman Production Center is a symbol of the achievement of this ambition.
“We are proud of our past successes and excited about our all-electric future, which was launched all those years ago by our founder Colin Chapman, and I am honored that Clive and Jane can join us in marking this occasion. “
Along with upgrading its facilities, investment in its UK sites has enabled the car company to more than double its workforce since 2017, including creating hundreds of jobs in Norfolk. Positions recruited included skilled manufacturing operators, engineers and technicians.