This latest Lotus Evora 400 promises to be the most powerful production car to come out of Hethel (a little place in Norfolk) to date. It is more focused, more aggressive and billed as being easier to live with. Couple this with an improvement in quality & refinement and this could be just what Lotus needs to bring them back to the fore.
Just down the road from Average Joe’s HQ there is a small but significant sports car maker. This car maker is of course Lotus. Since I have lived here, Lotus have had more changes of the guard than I care to remember. The most recent boss, Jean-Marc Gales was proceeded by the flamboyant Dany Bahar who’s plan to push Lotus into Ferrari territory never really came to anything more than a few exciting show cars. Now with a new more business-minded man at the helm, Lotus can get on with the business of making great cars and returning to profitability.
The new Lotus Evora 400 is the first car to arrive as part of this plan to revive the brand. It is based largely on the current model but there is very little of the car that hasn’t been re-worked or improved. The most obvious change comes on the outside. Lotus have reworked the front and rear bumpers to give a more aggressive look. Something that was missing from the old car and will help sales of the car in Asia and the Middle-East. There is also a new spoiler and new wheels to round off the refresh.
Inside the Evora 400 you can see another big change. The old dash was ergonomically flawed but this new version seems to be more logical in its design. Buttons are clear to see and there is a definite improvement in perceived quality which will be crucial in a car costing from over £70,000. Not only are the seats new and lighter but access to them has been improved thanks to a much smaller sill and a re-worked aluminium tub-chassis. The rear seats also seem a bit more accommodating but still probably still best only used for children.
Behind the cabin the Evora 400 still has the same 3.5L Toyota-sourced V6 but power is up by around 16% to 400 bhp (hence the name). This has come thanks to a bigger supercharger and a more efficient intercooler as well as engine management and exhaust updates. The manual gearbox has a new clutch and flywheel to improve gearshifts and the auto version has a sportier shift. These improvements equate to a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds and 186 mph top speed. Add this to the diet it has been put on, the Evora 400 will lap the Lotus test track around 6 seconds faster than the old Evora S. There are also improvements to fuel consumption and CO2.
The car will be unveiled to the public at this years Geneva Motorshow and the first customer cars should arrive around late Summer.