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Along with its announced plans for Formula One next season, British sports car maker Lotus is also looking at expanding its racing efforts to include IndyCar, GT and Le Mans racing. Newly appointed company CEO Dany Bahar made the announcement to employees, stating that Lotus is studying expanding its racing efforts under a new corporate outlook.
Bahar, who comes from working for Red Bull’s Formula 1 team and as the former head of marketing for Ferrari has ambitious plans to return Lotus to its former position as a motorsports leader, using motorsports as a way to brand the company’s road cars, while using technology gained from racing efforts to help improve those very cars and develop new ones.
Lotus has made known plans to field a two car Evora team at next years Nürburgring 24 Hour race but now it appears as though as more long term plan may be coming into place.
No official decision has been made but we expect to see Lotus cars racing in the European and American Le Mans series in the near future.
Lotus displayed its Evora Type 124 endurance racer at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The Type 124 (the 124 was the next number in line in Lotus’ naming sequence, but coincidentally, the 24 also represents 24 hour endurance racing) will make its racing debut at the 2010 Nürburgring 24 Hours in May.
Lotus engineers tuned the Toyota-produced V6 engine to produce up to 394hp. The car has been lightened to less than 2,646 lbs, though both power and weight may be subject to race regulations.
Other racing components on the car include a full roll cage, 18-inch wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, a new suspension setup as well as AP Racing brakes with six-piston calipers.
Gallery: Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racer
Lotus is on a motorsports roll as of late, releasing racing versions of the Elise, Exige 260 and now this, the company’s flagship Evora model. Called the Type 124, this race-prepped Evora gets a 400hp version of the Toyota Camry’s V6 motor, mated to a six-speed sequential transmission.
The Lotus mantra is to build fast cars through the use of light-weight components and so the company’s road cars are already featherweights by comparison to most of the competition. Impressively, through the use of carbon fiber body parts and a fully striped out interior, Lotus engineers managed to drop an additional 440 lbs from the curb weight of the Evora, reducing it to just 2,600 lbs.
Other racing components on the car include a full roll cage, 18-inch wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, a new suspension setup as well as AP Racing brakes with six-piston calipers. The car meets FIA standards and will debut at next year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race. Lotus says it will run a factory backed team in 2010 and 2011 and we would imagine the Evora Tye 124 will also be made available to private teams to compete in motorsports throughout the world.
“Every Lotus car is designed to be at home on the race track as well as the road, and the Evora is no different,” said Roger Becker, Vehicle Engineering Director for Group Lotus Plc. “Designed primarily as an everyday road car, the Evora’s lightweight and stiff structure, its aerodynamics and performance means that it is perfectly suited to taming race tracks around the world, and we are looking forward to seeing the new Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racecar line up on the grid for the 2010 season.”
GALLERY: Lotus Evora Tye 124 Endurance Race Car
Official release after the jump: