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Evora 410 vs 996/997 GT3?


AndyP

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Hello all!

turns out I've not posted on this forum since 2009 after selling my Elise 135R. Seems a lifetime ago!

I've never posted a "compare this car against that car" type of post before, but I've been contemplating a next car and the choice is too much and my time so limited, I thought I'd reach out to get a few opinions.

Since ending Lotus ownership some 7 years ago, I've "accumulated" an number of cars; mostly classics. My daily drive is a Porsche 993, but I've got a Caterham Fireblade, and Lancia Integrale Evo and a few others things as well.

Looking to consolidate things into a daily drive and I was quite surprised about how good the revamped Evora looks and the positive reviews. Driving 90's classics and having a Caterham means I don't really mind that the interior on the Lotus is still a bit Mikey-Mouse (although admittedly a massive step up from my old Elise). However, looking at the Evora there is no real comparisions of anything new/newish which excites me. However, looking at a used 997 gt3 and I've got a bit of a dilema.

I wondered if anyone here has experience of both cars? Any comments about the performance other either on road and track?

Andy

 

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I had a look at a 997 gt3 that's at Colchester at the mo. 07 plate.  Dear God it looks tired,  no way I'd spend over 80k on it. Steering wheel was horrible. 37k clearly hard miles. Gt4s next to it were nice though, and that is what I would be comparing to a 410. No contest if you are only looking at 10 year old gt3s and can stomach some depreciation I would have a 410 all day long. And having driven a 400 a fair bit (it's fabulous) I am sure the 410 will be even better.  

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I've driven a number of 996 GT3s. I worked for a dealer who had three of them, all nice, around 35k. Couldn't shift them.

I drove two. Great cars. Great buy at £35k. At 80K+ ? No way.

One hates to blow one's own trumpet, but if you check out my YouTube channel I have done a few video comparisons, including Cayman GT4 vs Evora 400

www.jayemm.com

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Had a 996 GT3 for a while and what a great car it was too. Beautifully fluid steering and raw enough to keep an enthusiast entertained. There's no downside to ownership and everyday use if that's what you want but for me the cost of tracking it was quite high at the time and I didn't gel with the handling, that could have been down to setup though. Trouble with the Evora is getting it through noise tests at track days but if I had a 400/410 now I'd get a rear silencer made that brings the noise leve to that of the S with which I had no issues.

 

Trevor.

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I'll get around to it at some point.

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Thanks for all the comments!

i sat in the 410 at Central Lotus and that's what got me thinking about getting a Lotus again. 

 

BTW what are people doing about the exhaust noise and track days? Seems quite limiting.

 

andy

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As far as I know no-one with a 400 has yet developed a solution. I expect one will happen, Lotus were meant to have one a long time ago but instead they keep finding the time to make all these fancy new carbon fibre bits we didn't ask for, and a Titanium version of the exhaust... but not the track-legal version which is the thing we really need

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James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Dave and others,

how have you found the performance of the 400 compared to a 997 gt3? On paper they look similar, and I'm sure on the road you won't get near the limits on either. But on track do you think the 400 or 410 is at a similar level at the GT3? 

I was eyeing up the Komotec 460 upgrade on the Hanger 111 website. Are these upgrades well regarded and do they deliver a real world  performance boost? The reason I ask is i was looking at a YouTube video of the exige 430 upgrade compared with a std 350 and the figures and the drag-race comparison didn't look that impressive for the alleged 80hp increase on the standard car.

i think the 400 and 410 seems a much more track capable GT than the earlier S1. Which really appeals to me, but I'm so surprised that the exhaust noise levels are too high for many tracks. It shows a real lack of attention to detail by the Lotus product guys. Seems more of a Jaguar F-Type approach than a Porsche GT3 approach to speccing the car.

Andy

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@AndyP I mentioned this is another topic recently.

Porsches I have driven have a tendancy to feel a bit stronger than their numbers suggest. I think the GT3 could be a little quicker than the 400/410, but there wouldn't be much in it.

I recently did a day at an airfield, 1.5 mile straight. I did a run against a Ferrari F430 - 90hp difference. It is not a night and day difference. You need HUNDREDS more horsepower to make someone else seem like they're standing still. I was running against cars with 600-700bhp and that's what it takes to "leave me for dead", really. I found on track at Hethel I only gained significantly over an Elise when we were doing over 100mph.

I believe @anthonyyule had the 430 upgrade on his Evora S. He can tell you about the performance of that.

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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@AndyP I did the EX460 upgrade in my Exige ... it's night and day ... basically got back a totally different, much more powerful car ... I now can keep up 1:1 with a 458 Speciale or a 991 GTR RS under Full acceleration even at very high speeds ... before I couldn't ...

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1 hour ago, NW76 said:

I now can keep up 1:1 with a 458 Speciale or a 991 GTR RS under Full acceleration

I like the sound of that! ?

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys, it's been really helpful!

I'm thinking that a 400 with the Komotec 460 upgrade might hit the spot more than a standard 410. Does the 410 come with better brakes?

like people have said, I really need to get off my butt and drive a few. Luckily Central Lotus have a 410 and a 400 to compare. just need to find someone local with a Komotec upgrade.

im also going to have to do more digging on the exhaust noise side. I don't want to buy a car that I won't be able to drive round Donnington Park, which is local to me.

Andy

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You will be fine on a noisy day at Donnington but no chance on a quiet one. 

Drive one before you think about modifications.  Personally I wouldn't do anything while the car is in warranty,  has anyone ever bought a new lotus and not made a warranty claim?! 

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7 minutes ago, Gashead1105 said:

You will be fine on a noisy day at Donnington but no chance on a quiet one. 

Drive one before you think about modifications.  Personally I wouldn't do anything while the car is in warranty,  has anyone ever bought a new lotus and not made a warranty claim?! 

Good point about warranty. That might actually take me down the used car route and give me money to sprinkle a few more mods on it. I don't mind going down the used route as it's going to be a daily drive and I don't do so many miles. In any case I figure if I do a dozen track days in it I'll need to start replacing stuff anyway!

andy

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Brakes are the same on the 400 as the 410. Seriously beefy items from AP racing. Four pot front and rears, 370mm fronts and 350mm rears. 

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Hi Andy, I've had a 400 for 8 months, also have a 991 gt3 rs, before that had a 991 c2s which was pretty similar performance to a 997 gt3 (drove at spa with a friend of mine https://youtu.be/dBmD_sD171k ) although quite different in execution. The C2s was a bit underdamped and slightly wallowy for the track, no surprise as it is an excellent road car whereas the 997 gt3 was quite a lot stiffer. I'm sure a talented driver could drive the gt3 quicker but the 991 chassis is better I think, all else being equal. The 400 I've had on track at Hethel back to back with a GT4 (the GT4 was slightly quicker) also at the ring and Silverstone. The 400 does pretty well on track, and with stickier tyres and a komotec tune I'm sure would be as quick or maybe slightly quicker than a gt4, which is a very quick track car indeed imho and faster than a 997 gt3 I would think. I've not driven a 410 so can't comment, but I think a used 400 is somewhat cheaper than a 997 gt3, would be good fun on track (I still have to get the exhaust sorted out) and with more track focussed tyres would be similar in performance to a 997 gt3. There is also 1/2 a lap of the ring in the 400 here  https://youtu.be/GL-q5VQLI48 if you are interested. 

 

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Sounds amazing Martin and gear change looks very precise and snappy. Not that it will stop the internet from moaning about Lotus gear linkages but nice to see all the same!

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Haha yes, too pre-occupied to turn it off :rolleyes:   Also I think the gearshift is very good indeed. Driven back to back with a GT4, which everyone raves about, I think it is pretty close. Maybe you have to take a tiny bit more time but that adds to the satisfaction of driving a manual I think. Also in the evora the gear lever is perfectly placed, but too high in the gt4 for my arm to fall naturally to it.

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8 hours ago, The Pits said:

Sounds amazing Martin and gear change looks very precise and snappy. Not that it will stop the internet from moaning about Lotus gear linkages but nice to see all the same!

Is it me, or can you hear the seats creaking above the sound of the exhaust and engine?

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Yes the creaking was pretty loud. Car has been at Hofmanns for the last few days and is back tomorrow. The factory fix for the seats took a few months and then the new seat parts were on back order. So hopefully all fixed, I'll let you know tomorrow...

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The problem is most have led very hard lives and many have been crashed. Now a rare sight on trackdays they used to be one of the most common cars and also the most common cause of a stoppage. I've lost count of the number I've seen being towed back into the pits and nearly all crashed arse first! I think the handling balance was too challenging for many owners. So buyer beware I'd say and get it independently inspected or it could prove to be a very expensive mistake.

Since Porsche confirmed the new 991 GT3 will have a manual option many are predicting a fall in 997 GT3 values as much of the value increase was based on Porsche going PDK only. We will see but it doesn't look like the best time to be buying one to me.

 

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I think 997 GT3 speculators are in for a shock re prices, as you say. 

Previously owned :Exige 380,  Exige 350,  Evora 400,  Exige V6S,  Esprit GT3,  2-11 SC,  Evora S,  Elite 501

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