The Brits celebrate 50 years since moving to Hethel

Founded in 1952, Lotus Cars was originally situated in old stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London. The company moved to a purpose-built factory at Cheshunt in 1959 and in 1966 it began developing and building its cars at a modern facility in Hethel, Norfolk. In 2016, the British firm celebrates 50 years since moving to Hethel and it has created a special-edition Lotus Evora to mark the event. It goes by the name Evora 400 Hethel Edition and will be sold in limited numbers.

Offered in exclusive exterior colors and with a number of bespoke features, this limited-edition Evora won’t be the only vehicle celebrating Lotus’ move to the Hethel facility.

"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. We are immensely proud to be part of the community and it is entirely fitting that this limited edition be dedicated to our home. We’re looking forward to celebrating our connections to Norfolk throughout 2016, and more Lotus Hethel Anniversary news will be announced soon," said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.

There’s no word whether the Hethel Edition will cross the pond to the United States, but until Lotus reveals more information, let’s have a closer look at the brand’s latest sports car based on the quick and light Evora 400.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition.

  • 2016 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    400
  • Torque @ RPM:
    302
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What makes the Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition special

2016 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 675463

Design-wise, the Hethel Edition is essentially identical to the standard Evora 400. There are no aerodynamic enhancements and no custom body panels. However, the sports car is equipped with a set of special wheels and a graphics package, which give it a distinctive look. The multi-spoke, forged aluminum wheels are finished in silver and come with contrasting brake calipers, while the sides feature a pair of white stripes. The latter are part of Lotus’ new Exclusive customization program and can be had in other colors as well. Speaking of which, the Hethel Edition is limited to only three exterior paints, but all are part of the company’s heritage palette. Options include the iconic Essex Blue, first seen on the original Lotus Esprit, Motorsport Black, and the famous Racing Green.

2016 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition High Resolution Interior
- image 675461

Inside, the Hethel Edition comes with either black or red leather and Alcantara trim. The selection depends on the color of the exterior, but the preliminary photos show that the red cabin is actually a two-tone combo with almost every element that’s not wrapped in leather or Alcantara being black. The interior package also includes leather stitching, a red 12-o’clock stripe on the steering wheel, and a special plaque on the dashboard.

Under the hood, the Hethel Edition is as standard as they get, featuring the same supercharged, 3.5-liter V-6 as the regular Evora 400. Output sits at 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, enabling the sports car to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.2 seconds with the manual transmission and four seconds flat with the automatic gearbox. Although it doesn’t benefit from the extra ten horses and 70-kg (154-pound) reduction available with the Evora Sport 410, the Hethel Edition is still impressively quick. Its top speed is rated at 186 mph, higher than what you get from its main competitors, the Porsche 718 Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C.

2016 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 675462

Pricing for the limited-edition Hethel 400 is not yet available, but it’s safe to assume that it will cost more than the standard Evora 400, which retails from £72,000 in the United Kingdom.

Lotus Evora 400

2016 Lotus Evora 400 High Resolution Exterior
- image 617787

The Evora 400 was introduced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show as the first major performance update since the nameplate’s introduction back in 2009. Important upgrades included a new front end that gave the sports car a more aggressive appearance, a more pronounced rear spoiler, lighter wheels, and upgraded aerodynamics. Inside, the coupe gained lighter seats, a lightweight magnesium steering wheel, and high-grade materials such as Alcantara and Scottish leather. The supercharged, 3.5-liter V-6 engine was upgraded to 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, a 55-horsepower and seven-pound-foot boost compared to the previous Evora S. In 2016, Lotus introduced the Evora Sport 410, a slightly more powerful version with bespoke features. The Evora 400 is the only Lotus available in the U.S., where it retails from $89,900, excluding local sales taxes.

Read our full review on the Lotus Evora 400 here.

Press Release

A significant anniversary requires a significant car and, Lotus is marking 50 years since the founding of its famous factory with a limited Hethel Edition of its benchmark Evora 400.

2016 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 675463

Available in three exclusive colours, with matching trim options and a special commemorative build plate, the Hethel Edition Evora 400 combines high performance with Lotus’ legendary chassis development. Winning the praise of customers and the motoring press since its launch, the Evora 400 weighs in at just 1,395 kg and epitomises Lotus’ approach to efficient engineering.

The Hethel Edition Evora 400 is the first in a series of special products and events marking this important milestone in the company’s history, when, in 1966, founder Colin Chapman moved Lotus to the purpose-built facility in Hethel, Norfolk.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “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. We are immensely proud to be part of the community and it is entirely fitting that this limited edition be dedicated to our home. We’re looking forward to celebrating our connections to Norfolk throughout 2016, and more Lotus Hethel Anniversary news will be announced soon”.

As well as marking 50 years in Norfolk, the Hethel Edition allows Lotus fans to enjoy some of the company’s iconic colour schemes. Buyers can choose between Essex Blue, Motorsport Black, and Racing Green when ordering the Hethel Edition 400, with either black or red leather or Alcantara interior trim available depending on bodywork colour. Every Hethel Edition 400 comes with lightweight silver forged aluminium wheels, and contrasting brake callipers, while bespoke graphics complete the car’s distinctive look.

2016 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 675464

The Hethel Edition 400 perfectly illustrates how customers can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, the programme combines traditional British craftsmanship with modern design. It has been conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste. With a comprehensive array of options, it provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.

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