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Evora 400 Test Drive... Thoughts


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No that's the brutish Venturi 400GT: sort of a French F40. That model was the basis of the race car Venturi, which acquitted itself very well on the race tracks of the world. The 300 Atlantique was the more curvy and refined 300 like my brother owned, so more Ferrari 355-ish.

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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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288 GTO seems to go quite well on 400bhp. That's quite a reminder of the company that E400 owners are keeping, plus you have to remember that the mighty Lotus Carlton got by with 377bhp!

 

 

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I've spent a bit of time in both a Ferrari 355 and 360. Neither are fast, the 355 is the much sweeter of the two but they wouldn't see which way an Evora went - on sheer cornering pace alone. I think the Evora 400 reminds me of the 355 in many ways (good ones) and hope to be able to expand on that in future once I've spent some more time behind the wheel.

Both the Jaguar XKR and BMW M5 only had 400bhp circa 2000. I believe the original Dodge Viper was also 400bhp, but a LOT more torque. An Audi R8 V8 is some 200kg heavier with similar power numbers.

If ever there was a validation of "light is right"... according to a Car and Driver article, the Lamborghini Diablo VT has 543 horsepower, 457 lb-ft of torque, four wheel drive, 335-section rear tyres and they only got a 0-60 of 4.3 seconds because they were mostly petrified of destroying the clutch with a bad launch. Apparently very easy to do with that car.

Edited by ramjet
No need to quote the post directly above yours.

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

As much as I love my TT RS, it is a different animal and I doubt the new one will change things dramatically.  The new car is lighter and probably has better weight balance between the front and rear and the AWD will also probably send more power to the rear wheels.  However, it is still primarily a FWD car that sends power to the rear wheels on demand.  I doubt it ever feels like a RWD car and I'll bet the steering is still on the numb side.  Worst of all, there is no manual option in the new car.

The Audi that could give the Evora a run for its money is the rumored Audi R6 which would be a mid-engined car using the Porsche Boxster/Cayman platform.  But there has been no confirmation that the project has been "green lighted" by Audi and even if Audi goes forward with it, no one knows when the car might hit the market.  

For the foreseeable future, the closest competitor to the Evora 400 is a Porsche 911

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Ludicrous performance for the money, a shame it's offered only with the S-Tronic box but not really surprising.

Personally I didn't feel the R8 came even close to the Evora in terms of feel or driving enjoyment, I doubt the TT would either but it'll no doubt sell quite well.

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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VW Audi - don't make me laugh. Why would anyone wish to buy a car from a manufacturer whom is so morally bankrupt the cheat and poison the lungs of our children. Utter rubbish.

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The TT RS is hardly rubbish.  It's actually a blast to drive.  Its just never going to drive like a RWD car and it will never have the steering feel of a Lotus.  Nor will it feel as special.  And don't forget the VW owns Porsche as well so include them in your "rubbish" comment

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I stand utterly corrected.

vw / Audi / Porsche and all associated companies whom have been lying cheating and polluting our air and poisoning our children are all morally bankrupt and purveyors of shite. They are but one step sideways from drug dealers.

ps - I hear heroin is really nice to try

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Think you may find Barry that there are more revelations to come out yet involving quite a few other manufacturers. The point here is that for just over 50,000 you can get something that on paper appears to outperform the 400 evora and maybe we and maybe Lotus shouldn't be too complacent.

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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It's a good point Pete - but I'm struggling to think of a single classic Audi I would aspire to own. They just haven't made any since the Quattro.

now lotus - hmmmm - take your pick - every model is hugely appealing.

i look at this only historically - I would not buy a new one - wish I could afford to do so. 

However - if I had a tump of money burning a hole in my pocket - would a rather have a run of the mill mass produced Nike shell suit (Audi or the like ) - or a made to measure saville row lotus ???

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I like Barry's comments for their humour. I have owned several VWs and Audis, and they are great for just getting from A-B, but they don't compare to the driving experience of a Lotus and after a period of driving my Evora I find myself getting in other cars and really understanding how ordinary they are. Many cars have the steering response of a barge after the Evora.

I got this on Evora test drives, but not to the same degree that I feel it when I've spent longer with the car. By contrast when I spend longer with other cars they get boring rather than better.

I suspect other manufacturers may also have fudged their emissions tests, but VW/Audi/Porsche have been found guilty and to say others may be doing it too should not excuse the brand. For me they make cars that now seem less reliable than they were, and they have lost their status as they've put maximising profit before all else. I would struggle with the thought of paying over £50k for an Audi at the best of times, but as things currently stand I would not buy another VW or Audi until I'm convinced they are a changed company. It often seems to me that as companies get better at marketing they get worse at making a quality product. 

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3.7 seconds to 60 with 400 HP is impressive.  For that bit, kudos.  However I can't get past the fact that the TT appears to me like a VW Beetle with slightly longer over hangs.  At least they managed to make the front look different than the rear in this new iteration.

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I got to drive one a few weeks ago at Laguna Seca Sonoma for an Audi driving event.  Auto cross mind you, not on the big track (got to drive an R8 on that).  I didn't care for it much, but some of that was due in part to the auto cross track they set up which kept the car in an RPM range where the turbo kicked in at inopportune times.  I'm sure that driving the V10 R8 on track back to back also helped to color my recollection.

Not trying to bag on the TT RS, its just that cars for me are equal parts driving and theater (sound and design) and the theater part of the TT RS doesn't resonate with me.  Others I'm sure will love it.

 

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10 hours ago, pete said:

The point here is that for just over 50,000 you can get something that on paper appears to outperform the 400 evora and maybe we and maybe Lotus shouldn't be too complacent.

 

But it's top trumps motoring, isn't it? Big numbers that appeal to the masses. 99% of people that would buy the TTRS don't know that Lotus exists and the other 1% thinks they're plastic kit cars so I woud be amazed if Lotus loses a single Evora sale to the Audi. It will get rated in the reviews for the amazing interior, being fast in a straight line and being 'easy' to drive and the nominally good CO2 and mpg figures. They'll gloss over the lack of feel and that if you use the performance the mpg will be on a par with a larger N/A engine (I was surprised Harris mentioned that for the Boxster in this months TG mag). In typical Audi fashion by the time you've specced it with the 'essential for resale' options the price will be a damn site closer to the 400's.

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Perfect points Cris. And let's not forget the horific depreciation that is likely to occur.

Especially when you can get a Golf clubsport s or whatever for £32k. Oh there we go with the top trumps again.

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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A TTRS was one of the cars on my list that I contemplated before sinking my funds into the Evora.

5 minutes after walking in to the local "Howdie" dealership to look at one I walked out again, I'd seen enough & didn't bother with a test drive.

However, and in the spirit of fairness, my heart had probably already told my head that I'd be going for the Evora beforehand<_<

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My experiences too Colin when my giant bulk is in my little Fiat 500 hire car ( a sight you just have to see) when bombing between Heathrow and Southampton / Portsmouth and Havant every 2 weeks.

I do like a glorious sweeping statement. Well done that man.

Oh, and now that Harris is driving a Bentley in the GT series (what Porsche could not find a seat for one of their biggest fanboys?) maybe we'll see a more balanced set of reviews from him. I hope so as some stuff he calls out spot on and he does genuinely love cars and driving.

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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I can only speak to what I see on this side of the pond.  The people I see driving like dicks are usually driving something a souped up 10 year Honda Civic.  The folks in expensive sports cars are simply not driving like dicks.  

C8RKH, if you look at my profile, you will see that I did buy a TT RS and am VERY aware of what the car is and is not.  Is a TT RS a serious sports car?  Yes.  Will it ever be as special as an Evora? No.  Will it ever match the drama of having an engine roaring right behind you? No.  Does the car handle well?  Yes.  Will it ever handle like a well sorted RWD car?  No.  Does the TT RS have the relatively numb steering that seems to afflict all Audis?  Yes.  Would the TT RS be my top choice for the track or B roads?  No, a very good choice but not a top choice.  Would it be a top choice for highway driving?  Yes, this car has a better ride than it has any right to have.

Could I make my car FAR more powerful for a fraction of the cost of an Evora 400?  Absolutely!  Would that change the fundamental character of the car?  Doubtful.  The only car on my radar screen to potentially replace my car is the Evora,  But the reasons have little to do with specs.  I can easily exceed the Evora's specs with my car.  It's the other things that matter like driver involvement, steering wheel feel and handling, drama, and being special that no amount of money invested in my RS will produce.  We are in an age where specs just don't matter as much as they used to.  So the new TT RS will do 0-60 in 3.7 seconds as opposed to the Evora's 4.1.  Who cares???  Who is drag racing their $100,000 cars between stoplights???  It's not so much about specs anymore.  Both of these cars are stupidly fast.  It is about the subjective things like involvement and feel and that is where Lotus shines and that is why I'm here.   

99Problems, I respect your feelings about the TT RS.  You drove it and it did not appeal to you.  And I totally agree, that in terms of theater, the TT RS cannot compare to either the Evora or the TT's big brother (R8)

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3 hours ago, Ccd said:

I can only speak to what I see on this side of the pond.  The people I see driving like dicks are usually driving something a souped up 10 year Honda Civic.  The folks in expensive sports cars are simply not driving like dicks.  

It's different over here. The dicks 6 inches behind your rear bumper on the motorway are generally driving leased (so less than 3 year old) German metal (and increasingly new Kia/Hyundai since they became blinged up and German look-a-like), typically with a low end diesel weighing down the front. Lots of shiny chrome and LED DRLs and big wheels, but sound like a tractor... Baffingly they often genuinely think they're sports cars (based on a sample of acquaintances who are perfectly reasonable people in day to day life yet drive like utter idiots when they slip behind the wheel of their 2 litre diesel Audi/BMW repmobile).

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12 hours ago, C8RKH said:

 Seeing an Oooooodi, well, meh. See them in every supermarket car park and outside every hairdressers and accountant. You can keep it @Ccd. Enjoy.

 

Andy, what have you got against accountants? I'm an accountant. I drive a Lotus, wear a Breitling and don't like Audi's. Accountants are cool B-)

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