Lotus celebrates 50 years at RAF Hethel with Evora 400 Hethel Edition

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With this special edition celebrating a major milestone in the history of Lotus, the Evora itself also marked a turning point for Lotus(Credit: Lotus)

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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lotus' factory founding, the British automaker is producing an exclusive Hethel Edition of the 4.1-second 0-60 mph Evora 400. The car commemorates Lotus founder Colin Chapman's historic move to the former Royal Air Force Station Hethel southwest of Norfolk in 1966.

The limited edition Evora 400 will be available in exclusive heritage colors and represents the current pinnacle of Lotus design. The car weighs just 1,395 kg (3,075 lb) and sprints from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds, on the way to a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

Color schemes exclusive to this special edition of the Evora 400 include Essex Blue, Motorsport Black, and Racing Green. The interior can be decked in either black or red Alcantara leather trim, depending on the chosen exterior color. Hethel Edition Evora 400s also have lightweight silver forged aluminum wheels and contrasting brake calipers.

The Evora itself marked a turning point for Lotus, which was looking for a somewhat more robust car to increase its competitiveness against European rivals like Porsche who were finding that small cars, even small supercars, have a limited appeal. The Evora 400, however, reversed that and lightened the sports car significantly, bringing Lotus back to its roots.

So in many ways, this Hethel Edition of the Lotus Evora 400 is a fitting choice to celebrate the company's manufacturing founding as the little car has done a lot to help the company move towards newfound financial viability.

Lotus hints that other 50th anniversary editions of its model line will also be forthcoming. The Evora 400 Hethel Edition is now available to order with a suggested retail price beginning at £75,000 (US$108,150) in the UK, €100,000 (US$113,750) in Germany, and €105,400 (US$119,900) in Italy. It has not mentioned whether the limited edition will see sales in North America.

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