The Rebirth of the Lotus Evora

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
The successor to the Evora S also happens to be one of Lotus' fastest production cars to date...

When the Evora S first hit the road in 2010, it was greeted with more than a little fanfare. Car of the year awards mounted up and, over the six years since, it’s become a mainstay of the Lotus model range. But six years is a long time, especially in an industry as fast-moving (both figuratively and literally) as motoring.

Six years is enough time for what was an exceptional car to slowly be overtaken by its competitors. All the more so when you look at its rivals Jaguar and Porsche, two manufacturers that do anything but sit on their laurels. Needless to say, that last year the Evora S was well due an upgrade.

That said, to call the Evora 400 an upgrade is only half the story. It’s closer to the truth to call it a reincarnation, one that fully realises new standards of Lotus performance.

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Giving each just a brief glance, there’s not all that much difference between the Evora 400 and its older sibling. Both share the same low, sporty silhouette of a greyhound at full pelt, even if the Evora 400’s new bumpers give it a more angular, aggressive set. Yet appearances can be deceptive, no more so than here.

According to Lotus, two-thirds of the components used in the Evora 400 are brand new. By anyone’s reckoning, that’s a phenomenal amount. If it weren't for the family resemblance, you’d assume the two would be entirely different cars. And in a way, you’d be right.

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Let’s forget the aesthetics for a moment and focus on the beating heart of the car, the Evora 400’s 3.5-litre V6 engine. That is, an engine that’s undergone some alchemical transmutations in the Lotus workshops to supercharge it to new levels. If you’re wondering where the Evora’s numerical assignation comes from, here it is; the engine produces 400 horsepower.

Then there’s the weight. No Lotus is exactly what you’d call heavy; lightness is one of the marque’s calling cards. But through a combination of engineering ingenuity, new materials and technological advances, the Evora 400 is a few plausible steps behind weightlessness.

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Not that you’d really notice to look at it. The brakes for one are larger than ever and the cabin no less luxurious. If anything, the more powerful engine and cooling systems should really make it a bit more cumbersome. According to the 1395kg kerb weight though, that’s most definitely not the case.

With a more than respectable amount of power behind it and little slowing it down (even its aerodynamics are more advanced than ever) you can expect a good turn of speed out of the Evora 400. To be precise, that’s 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 186, firmly pushing true supercar standards of performance.

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Add in lightning-quick steering and a sports set-up that helps it positively leap around corners and you have precisely what you look for in a Lotus – an exceptionally thrilling, nearly ecstatic driving experience. Fortunately it’s also an experience you can partake in without taking yoga classes first.

One of the main issues with the Evora S – at least when it comes to comfort – was simply getting in and out. If you had a twinge in your back, you were better off steering clear. The 400 has revised the issue completely, with much lower sills letting you clamber in with ease.

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Once you’re inside, the entire interior has been given an overhaul. It’s certainly not the luxury a Bentley driver would be used to, but at the same time does exactly what you need it to. Seats are supportively hip-hugging, with every surface clad in leather or alcantara. A seat warmer, reverse camera and sat-nav infotainment system all come as standard so you won’t be lacking any mod-cons.

But then, home comforts aren’t the focus of any Lotus. With any of the British marque’s cars, it always boils down to one question: is it fun to drive? These aren’t grand tourers to cross the Alps or SUVs to navigate floodwaters. They are cars built for exhilaration, for unsurpassed enjoyment in any and every environment.

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So where does that leave the Evora 400? When the highest horsepower of almost any Lotus meets one of the lightest cars they have ever built – and bear in mind they’re known for lightness – you can be sure of something special. Is the Evora 400 fun to drive? Yes, very fun indeed.

To make an enquiry about the Lotus Evora 400, CLICK HERE.

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