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The signing of 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to Lotus Renault GP for the 2012 season is generating quite a stir in Grand Prix circles and so far in testing, the team’s new car, the E20 has shown a lot of promise.
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Lotus Cars had further news to announce, namely the hot new Lotus F1 Team Evora GTE and the Exige S Roadster. The former pays homage to Lotus Formula 1 history, sporting an unpainted carbonfiber body with copper accents that simulates the traditional F1 livery. There’s also specially trimmed bucket seats with gold piping and exclusive Lotus F1 Team Special Edition appliqués.
Other features include weight savings of some 100 kg and a 3.5-liter mid-mounted V6 that’s been tuned to deliver 444 horsepower, giving it one of the best power to weight ratios of any street going performance car. Lotus has said the F1 Team Evora GTE will be available in Europe by early summer.
As for the Exige S Roadster, it essentially combines all the attributes of its hard top counterpart; supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, lightweight chassis and optimally tuned suspension. Lotus says it will dash from 0-100 mph in just 8.5 seconds and is the first Exige model to be fitted with a lightweight removable soft top roof. Two transmissions will be offered, a proper six-speed manual and a Serial Precision Shift automated manual for those that want the convenience of shiftless driving in town but full gear selection control when they need it.
Kimi Raikkonen, who attended the Geneva Press conference said, in regards to the Lotus F1 Evora GTE, “I would love to have this as my company car.” For a man whose used to driving at serious triple digit speeds, that’s a serious compliment.
GALLERY: Lotus F1 Evora GTE and Exige S
Caught uncovered on the show floor, the Lotus F1 Limited Edition Evora GTE is a unique example of a car that’s already in limited supply. No specific details about this particular model have been revealed, but it’s easy to see that the car’s most obvious trait is its complete carbon fiber body.
That should help this street legal race car shed even more weight, an incredible feat when you consider the standard GTE model (think of its as the Lotus version of a Porsche GT3), already weighs over 200 lbs less than a conventional Evora S. Making it look even more imposing are dimensions borrowed from the endurance car car with a width that is several inches greater, plus a substantially longer nose.
With the GTE model already billed as the most powerful Lotus ever, if this latest creation pushes the power from the car’s supercharged 3.5-liter V6 past the 444 hp mark, there will once again be a new Lotus to lay claim to that title.
Look for more info tomorrow, when F1 star Kimi Raikkonen will be on hand to unveil that car. And until then, take a peek at the few snaps we managed to grab of what appears to be the new Lotus LMP endurance race car.