I fell in love with the Lotus Evora’s style, shape and passionate, aspirational design the moment I saw it. It was like a high performance motorcycle with protective metal wrapped around it.
I purchased the car, as I do with all our family vehicles, from my friend Tony Marzullo, owner of Gas Motorcars here in Atlanta, Georgia. Tony only represents the best cars, and this one certainly qualified in my book. For 20 plus years I drove nothing but Mercedes Benz automobiles, but one look at the Lotus Evora, and all of that changed in an instant.
After purchasing a standard 2010 year Lotus Evora last year, I quickly began to learn more about the car, its Formula 1 winning Lotus racing legacy, and the incredible and visionary company founder Colin Chapman. The cars all to this day seem to live up to Colin Chapman’s original vision; light weight, nimble, low to the ground, quick, a drivers’s car, and for the most part, track or race ready. And unfortunately, this is also true: Colin Chapman only wanted to sell enough cars to allow him to race. And today, that lack of focus on the ‘business’ of Lotus has hurt its racing program over the past 15-20 years. The challenge was and remains how Lotus Cars was run as a business.
That said, the baseline design and build of its cars, is amazing. It is particularly thrilling for those looking for what is commonly referred to as ‘a driver’s car.’
In honor of this rich Lotus history, and a tip of the hat to Lotus Cars founder, Colin Chapman, I designed my own version of a track ready Lotus racing car. There is even a style nod here given to the Lotus racing legacy of the famed John Player Special Formula 1 car.
My Lotus Evora is modeled after the 2011, top 25 finish of the Lotus Evora GTE, #65 at LeMans. Why model a car that finished 22nd overall and 7th in its class, and 10 seconds off the race leader? Easy…
• Lotus had not raced competitively in Formula 1 (they are starting to come back now, but that is not a factory team) or in GT cars for many years. They a man named Danny Bahir (the former Lotus CEO) decided Lotus would re-emerge ‘everyplace.’ It also appears that he wanted this ‘re-emergence’ to happen everywhere, and all at the same time. Well, there just were not enough resources to go around, and for a factory sponsored GT team that enjoyed modest factory support at best, the car (the Lotus Evora) did extremely well. Just imagine what would have happened if the race teams were strongly suggested from a strong company balance sheet, like all the other supercar manufacturers.
Here’s the summary of why I’m a fan:
* The car was underpowered in comparison to its peer group at LeMans.
* At 440HP or so it was NA (naturally aspirated); not supercharged like many of its peers. But perfectly tuned by Cosworth.
* It ran basically the same set up as a standard Evora. The model I drive today.
* The car and the make is constantly under-estimated in the marketplace. And so was I, coming up as a businessman. This appears to me.
* The car and the brand are both independent and a bit of a rebel. Just like me.
For these and other reasons, I dedicated my new car as the Mansory Lotus Evora GTE — in recognition of and modeled after the Lotus Evora GTE top group finish at LeMan, 2011. Well,here she is.
Her name: Freedom. Or the ‘Black Batman’ to you.
Major Modifications include:
* Komotec cold air intake
* Komotec Tune
* Custom exhaust from Buckhead Imports. One of a kind.
* Mansory front bumper (carbon fiber throughout)
* Mansory side fender vents
* Hong Kong carbon
* Side skirts (carbon)
* Air vents (carbon)
* Rear GT wing (carbon)
* A Pillars (carbon)
* Inside door handles (carbon)
* Pirelli P Zero tires (F: 225/40 ZR18. R: 255/35 ZR19)
* Alcantara and leather mix (black and oyster) throughout the car interior
* Recaro racing seats
* STiR Radar Detector and Laser Jammer
* Stilo carbon fiber racing helmet
The car also has a sealed flat panel bottom underside, for enhanced aerodynamics.
Note: All Mansory items sourced through my friends at British Racing Group located in Pennsylvania.
This car — is my daily driver, and frankly, I simply love going to business meetings in and around Atlanta, Georgia driving it. Driving has become a dream.
While a professional photo shoot for the car has been scheduled, you can find the complete and growing photo gallery for the new Mansory Lotus Evora GTE here on Flickr, and here on the Bryant Group Motorsports Facebook page.
I hope this story of Lotus Evora ‘renewed,’ inspires you as it has inspired me.
John Hope Bryant
Credit: A special thank you to Mike McConville, owner of Magnum Collision, who served as overall Project Manager for the build. Thanks also goes out to Jason Cummins, owner of Buckhead Imports, Tony Marzullo, owner of Gas Motors, Dak Kinard, owner of CarTunes, Robert Konick, President of British Racing Group in Pennyslvania, Charles Wun of Hong Kong, who provided a lot of the custom carbon fiber work, George, owner of Difflow (provider of the custom diffuser), the team at Motorcars of Atlanta (Lamborghini/Lotus Dealership), and the others who helped to bring this special project to life.