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Evora 400 Test Drive... Thoughts


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Angelo, never heard from an Italian yet who likes to pay his taxes, any taxes! ;) I did quite a bit of work on electricity and gas billing in Italy (mainly based out of Milan) and the tax rules were as crazy as the efforts to collect them!

The plus point though for you is that you have wonderful mountain roads, passes, and countryside to drive through, so think of that extra Euro200 as a pure pleasure tax ;)

I always take manufacturers figures with a pinch of salt, especially when it comes to magazine test drive too as we all know the cars driven by the Journo's from some manufacturers are often a bit special and not representative of what the end customer gets. I also read on here all the time how you cannot trust results from Dyno operators so how we ever get to really know what a car puts out is, well, ......

 

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Not my pictures, but as I now have a (tentative) collection date and everything seems solid, I'd like to introduce to you all the conclusion to my search. Some changes have been made to the car s

I come from Jap rally replica background (JDM scoob & evos). I change cars every 18 months, but have owned a '06 Impreza Spec C Type RA for 10 years, which is an absolute keeper for weekend thrash

Car is still on temporary reg, should be changing over next week

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Forced induction seems to have changed things a bit Andy, I frequently read about people dyno'ing the new M3/4/5 and they come in at well over spec. Back in the old days I think you'd be happy if you made the on-paper power.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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As I said, I'm reading all the time that with Dyno's it's so hard to tell if figures you are being given are true - apparently, the torque/tightness you use to strap the car down can have a massive impact (10 -20%) on power recorded.

I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, just wary of facts/claims stated by manufacturers who are in essence a vested party in selling their wares.

I'd love to see a subscription only service that reviewed and evaluated cars - no advertising or reliance on manufacturers favours would I am sure produce some interesting reading.

Anyone had a test drive of a 400 this weekend, especially given the generally good weather, and any reports / feedback and piccies?

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Well I drove one on Thursday if that's any good, my thoughts at the beginning of the thread :) The weather was decent.

Interestingly, the first time I drove one the ground was pretty cold and wet, but the car felt very planted still and gave a lot of confidence. Not something you can say of many mid-engined cars of this type.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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2 hours ago, C8RKH said:

Angelo, never heard from an Italian yet who likes to pay his taxes, any taxes! ;) I did quite a bit of work on electricity and gas billing in Italy (mainly based out of Milan) and the tax rules were as crazy as the efforts to collect them!

The plus point though for you is that you have wonderful mountain roads, passes, and countryside to drive through, so think of that extra Euro200 as a pure pleasure tax ;)

I always take manufacturers figures with a pinch of salt, especially when it comes to magazine test drive too as we all know the cars driven by the Journo's from some manufacturers are often a bit special and not representative of what the end customer gets. I also read on here all the time how you cannot trust results from Dyno operators so how we ever get to really know what a car puts out is, well, ......

Well Andy, I pay taxes on my work incomes, then, when I bought the car, VAT and plates registering taxes (calculated on power too: around 2000€!) and now every year I have to pay this other tax (more than 3000€/year). It's ok, it's a sports-luxury car and I'm happy that wealthier people like us who can afford such expensive toys pay our contribution to the society: I'm proud of living in a country where there's a national health system that cures people in need no matter if they have money or an insurance to pay for that, I get bit upset when I hear that some public administration manager (the head of the national pension system) gets a salary higher than that of Barack Obama (was in the news few months ago).

Coming back to topic: car manufacturers cheating on specs should be treated like Volkswagen has been in the USA for the famous emission scandal. When I decided to switch to the 400 was mainly because of the extra power and I paid a price to get a product with some specs. If you'd buy a computer that is advertised to have 8Gb of memory and then realize that it actally has only 7.5, you'd return it, don't you? Never understood why cars are products that for some reasons have very peculiar market rules!:o

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If I do get a 400 I'll certainly be dyno'ing it. If they tell me it's got 390 horse then whatever, probably dyno inaccuracy. But if they tell me it's 360 then someone's getting a car thrown back at them!

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Interesting discussion.  I am still pondering what I felt when driving it and why, in terms of just feeling like something was not quite right on its acceleration under even full throttle (albeit in the very limited test drive that I did).  We've moved to a discussion of torque and it may very well be a combination of things.  And I agree torque is not just some magical thing to maximize.  Again, I am going to go back in May to give it another run.  But my comparators in terms of driving experience are many, and I am not simply thinking about maximizing torque.  I am comparing the overall experience against my experiences driving at least BMW E46 M3 (one of my favorites) and E92 M3 (less so), Elise SC (still my favorite), Ferrari California (much heavier, more power, but a brilliant engine and driving machine).  I realize the Lotus Evora 400 is not intended to be any of these.  I'm looking forward to May when I can have a real test drive and spend more time with the car.

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See BWex my thinking was this - the Evora is at least 100kg lighter than my M3, and at least 50hp up - but it really didn't feel *any* quicker in a straight line. In a corner, totally different ball game.

The roads you drive on can make a huge difference too. On the tight, winding roads around where I live I very rarely max out the M3, but on the motorway it feels positively pedestrian. Again, this is partly a torque thing. I don't really like doing my overtakes at 6,000rpm on the motorway because you look like a moron.

I think with the Evora it's probably the fact it is supercharged that is throwing people. When you have forced induction involved, I think people *expect* a very healthy gob of torque low down. Curiously, Ferrari in particular have done a lot of work with their turbo engines to make them drive like the old NA units. I believe you only get full torque from those in 7th gear.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Btw, a 20% difference between BHP (brake horsepower) and WHP (wheel horsepower) would be typical, given friction losses between the flywheel and wheels.  Nothing to get worried about.  My Exige V6 Cup R is around that statistic too.

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Yeah I'm familiar with the difference between wheel and flywheel horsepower... but if the difference is like 30% then something's wrong. Not saying it is. Every chance the car makes every one of it's 400 horses, just delivers them smoothly. I've said before the car didn't feel significantly slower than an Audi R8 V10 - that also doesn't give you the "shove in the back" feel when you put your foot down, and that's a car hugely up on both power and torque (and weight)

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Yep.  We're on the same page.  The one I drove was also a European spec, so the speed gauge was kph, which is not intuitive for me, meaning it was hard to know what speed I was at (though I doubt that would be a legitimate excuse to the cops).  That added a confounding aspect to the test drive.  It's good to hear positive views.  I am going in with an open mind in May when the dealer gets some cars in stock.  This has been a helpful discussion and given me things to consider.  Thanks. 

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For me a huge part of the purchasing decision is definitely the elements that can't be measured - namely curbside (kerb side?) appeal, small boy appreciation factor, smiles-per-mile. This is far more money than I have ever spent on a car in my life and I want to have a huge grin every time I see it on my driveway, I think the Lotus will do that.

Having experienced briefly the American reaction to a Corvette last year (which I would have thought would be nearly invisible), I can only imagine how much love the Evora's going to get. Matt Farah certainly loved it, I envy the looks you will get!

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James Martin (JayEmm)
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I also enjoy having something a little unusual. I could easily go out and buy an R8, Ferrari, Aston, 911, but to me as a car fan, if someone pulled up in a car park in an Evora I'd definitely want to have a good chat with them because you know they really appreciate driving

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James Martin (JayEmm)
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3 hours ago, NeedForSpeed said:

 

 If you'd buy a computer that is advertised to have 8Gb of memory and then realize that it actally has only 7.5, you'd return it, don't you? 

Not Apple fanboys, they buy phones with 8gb, 16gb, 32gb and regularly find that after Apple updates they can store a couple of photographs and three or 4 80's DISCO songs (they were shrt songs in the 80's!)   Rather than taking them back they can't wait 12 months for the next one to pay all over again...   hahahahahahahaahahahahahahaha

Sorry, Off Topic but at least I'm ON one of my favourite soap box TOPICs...

On the 400 test drive front. I've heard a few people say that they think they are sitting higher in the 400. Anyone seen the specs to show if this is reality or perception? In my early Evora I feel quite cocooned and a part of the car, think that's part of its appeal. But if I felt higher in the 400 it might possibly feel no more special than a Beemer 400 coupe I fear...

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Too true Alan, I remember when they stopped using hard drives in iPods... went from 160GB of memory to 16GB of memory and they wanted to charge a premium for the "upgrade"

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Andy, when I test drove the 400 I felt as though I was sat higher but put it down to the lower sills. IMO they give you a more spacious feel but you do lose the "cocooned" feeling, as you put it.

The 400 is still a very nice place to be though:thumbup:

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2 hours ago, C8RKH said:

Anyone seen the specs to show if this is reality or perception?

I've seen the drawings and the datum point of where your hip is is identical. That said, I asked as when I tested the 400 with leather interior last year I felt too high, was told told that the leather seats are more padded. The orange one I had was alcantara and I found the seating position to be spot on. 

As an aside, the seats may 'look' higher but that's due to the lower sills. 

Just now, PaulCP said:

IMO they give you a more spacious feel but you do lose the "cocooned" feeling, as you put it.

Remember the door cards are significantly thinner too... 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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To check my paranoia I went back over to Stratton yesterday and sat in an SR, an S and a 400. In both cases the top of my head was the same height from the roof. Curiously the cars all feel low in the showroom, but not on the road. Odd.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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The S I sat in was the early one, I think it's a 2010 car. Not really a fan - looks cheap to me, layout is poor.

Sports Racer felt like a HUGE improvement. Possibly my favourite seats of the lot. Much nicer finished too. Button layout still iffy obviously, but overall a much nicer place to be.

400 I think looks the best, I like the design of the new seats but not sure they feel as luxurious as the Recaros in the SR. That said, nearly all of my time has been in Alcantara cars, and I really prefer the look of the leather ones. They're quite supportive. I think the layout of the interior is leaps ahead, the screens on the dash seem to work better too.

I'd actually prefer more gauges if I was honest - oil temp and pressure gauges would be quite nice, or a boost gauge, or something. I like gauges on high performance cars, when they have a reason.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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The 400 doesn't even have a water temp gauge! 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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I was thinking earlier, the most damning thing I could ever say about a car would end with the clause "for a Lotus". Eg, it looks great "for a Lotus".

But, honestly, with the 400 (and to a large extent the older cars) - these things look great, go well, handle superbly and a very well finished. Not "for a Lotus". There are better finished and faster cars available for the same money, but I don't think any have the same driver focus. At least, not one I can walk into a showroom and buy anyway.

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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