The British sportscar has received a glut of special editions in its relatively short lifetime.
Launched back in 2008, it hasn’t taken long for Lotus to create a handful of special edition models for the Evora, the British automaker's first mainstream model with creature comforts and a 2+2 configuration. Everything from Freddy Mercury to Formula 1 have been used as inspiration for special edition models, helping to keep the 3.5-liter V6-powered sportscar from disappearing off our radar while giving Lotus some time to get its house back in order. Here are five of the most significant special-edition models introduced in the Evora’s brief lifetime.
Kimi Raikonnen unveiled the F1-inspired Lotus Evora GTE at 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Wearing the black and gold livery of the Lotus F1 team, the special edition model was made 105 kg lighter thanks to the liberal use of carbon fiber, both inside and out, as well as stripping out non-essential components. A wide Lotus insignia features on the rear wing, the alloys are finished in gold, and the car sports the number 10, used by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean. With the GTE’s 3.5-liter supercharged V6 sending 444 hp to the rear wheels via a sequential gearbox, Lotus claims the lightweight Evora GTE is the fastest model it has ever built.
In 2011, Lotus created a special-edition Lotus Evora S using the late, great iconic Queen singer Freddie Mercury as inspiration. The car was developed for a charity auction being held on what would have been the singer's 65th birthday with the special design drawn from Mercury's career. The bespoke yellow interior is said to reflect his 1986 stage costume, and the deep red and gold highlights showcase the singer’s signature colors. British broadcaster Chris Evans bought the car, with proceeds going to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, and later put it up for sale after finding he had no space for it in his Ferrari-filled garage.
After its Lamborghini Gallardo was written-off in a crash, the Italian state police went out and picked up a pair of Lotus Evora S models as replacements. The cars’ special features include an advanced voice recognition system, and a small fridge wedged behind the front seats in order for the Corps of Carabiners to transport organs and blood in medical emergencies. Before taking stock of the cars, specialist drivers were taken to Lotus’ Norfolk HQ for some hands-on training. That the Italian police would select a British sportscar when their home country produces so many excellent performance machines is a testament to Lotus engineering.
As part of a new partnership between rapper/producer Swizz Beats and New Lotus Designs, a special edition variant of the Evora GTE - itself a road-going version of the Evora GTE cup racecar - was showcased at Alvin Ailey's Opening Night Gala wearing a chrome color wrap. The collaborative effort was meant to give rise to more unique Lotus models coming to the market. But as with most things from Lotus this appears to be on hold - particularly since Dany Bahar (the former Lotus CEO who spearheaded the tie-in with Swizz Beats) has left the company. Then again, this hardly seems like the greatest loss at Lotus following the cancellation of its product plans.
In 2011, Lotus honored its Formula 1 racing team with the Evora S GP Edition. Just three examples were built, each with the Premium Pack, SuedeTex and Tech Pack along with diamond-cut alloys staggered 19/20 inches front/rear. More importantly, the special edition wears a gold-and-black paint scheme in homage to the Lotus Renault F1 racing livery, and the iconic John Player Special Lotus before it. The model was for UK buyers only. Similar to the aforementioned GTE at the beginning of this list, the GP edition wears one of the most iconic racing liveries ever created - one which we're glad to see alive and well.