Lotus is planning to build a Exige-based rally car that it will debut later this year at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The decision to enter the pro-rallying ranks is the latest move by the British sports car maker to further expand its motorsports activities that currently stretch from GT car racing at Le Mans to Formula 1 and Indy Car.
Reports are unclear as to weather this race car will share parts with the now-discontinued Exige, or if it will be an all-new chassis (likely based on the Evora platform).
According to CAR Magazine, Lotus’s ambitions aren’t to compete at the top-tier, but instead the RWD rally car will be built to drive in a class below the Super 2000 category.
It’s not yet clear if Lotus will enter a factory-backed team in either the WRC or IRC rally series, and instead may rely on selling prepped-cars to independent teams.
The Frankfurt show car will be ready for racing duty by January 2012 and in order to meet homologation standards at least 300 versions of the car will have to be built for street use.