After recent press regarding a very public dispute over naming rights with the F1 team bearing its name, Lotus has announced the next chapter in its extensive motorsport history. Earlier this year the famous marque made headlines by announcing a return to the the IndyCar series, along with the development of its GT4 Evora.
Today’s announcements have confirmed what many in sportscar racing circles had long suspected. Lotus has signaled its intention to join the ever-growing list of LMP and GT chassis manufacturers, announcing plans to build LMP2, GT2, and GT3 chassis.
As Lotus’ first foray into LMP competition, chassis design will be spearheaded by Paolo Catone, chief designer of Peugeot’s Le Mans winning 908 LMP1.
Lotus has already revealed the nature of the vehicle to be a closed-cockpit coupe, built to 2011 ACO LMP2 specification. Initial plans indicate the car will make its competitive debut next year, with an all-out attack on the 24 Hour planned for 2012.
This however, was not the only announcement of the day. In what can now be seen as a complete rebirth of motorsport activities for the legendary brand, Lotus has also confirmed the development of both GT2 and GT3 variations of its mid-engined GT4 Evora.
In addition to this, a new GT2 chassis will be constructed from a yet to be unveiled car, rumoured to be making its first appearance at the Paris Autoshow in within the week.
Claudio Berro (Director, Lotus Motorsport) made the following statement:
“Lotus is motorsport and racing is in our DNA. We have a special place in motorsport history and now as we unveil the beginning of our future plans it’s important for people to realize just how committed we are to doing our heritage justice.
There is no better platform to demonstrate the transfer of technology from track to road car than a full range of pure motorsport activity, we have to tick all the boxes.”