Colin Chapman moved Lotus from its cramped Hertfordshire HQ into its first purpose-built facility in Hethel, Norfolk 50 years ago in 1966 – and the firm is celebrating this in 2016 with a limited Hethel Edition Evora 400.
It won’t be the only Hethel half-century celebration Lotus plans to roll out this year either: “We are immensely proud to be part of the community,” said Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, and “we’re looking forward to celebrating our connections to Norfolk throughout 2016.”
Offered in three iconic Lotus-themed heritage colours – Essex Blue, Motorsport Black and Racing Green – each hue boasts lightweight silver forged alloy wheels, contrasting brake calipers, bespoke graphics and, inside, either black or red leather.
All the changes have come from the Lotus Exclusive programme, created by the Lotus Design team to let owners ultra-personalise their cars. Quite the alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car, reckons Lotus.
The £75,500 special is otherwise as per the regular Evora 400, which means a 400hp 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine capable of 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, a 1 minute 31 seconds lap time around Lotus’ Hethel test track, plus enhanced handling courtesy of a stiffer, more rigid aluminium chassis.
“The Evora 400 is the latest in a long line of world-beating sports and racing cars to have all been hand built in Hethel over the last 50 years,” said Gales. “It is entirely fitting that this limited edition be dedicated to our home.”