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Solstice

GT430 test drive

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I was fortunate to be invited to test drive the GT430 at Silverstone Lotus on Saturday (thanks Matt) wasn't expecting it to be night and day different to my 400, how wrong I was!
First, in the flesh it is menacing, the revised front end splitter and vented arches give it a really aggressive appearance, which is complemented by the big wing and carbon tailgate. 
Lots of subtle features like the cut away sections at the rear of the front arches and vents in the rear of the rear arches to allow air pressure to equalise and increase downforce.
The interior finish is real quality with carbon backed Sparcos which felt more supportive than those in the 400, stitched alcantara on the dash looked great too.
Out on the road gearchange linkage felt a bit more positive than the 400 (and mine has just had the cables adjusted which improved the gearchange no end)
The exhaust valve (titanium exhaust) was open, which anybody who has heard it will know sounds epic.
The car was on cup 2 tyres and it was a bit greasy which concerned me, not having used them before. They didn't give any indication of losing traction, but I suspect that on a dry road with some heat in them turn in would be much more positive.
With suspension being such a subjective thing I was really looking forward to experiencing for myself how the Ohlins performed on the road, as one of the stand out qualities of the 400 is how it copes with poor road surfaces (much better than my BMW F31 335d on Birds suspension and non run flats). 
One word "pure quality" (ok two!) on decent road surfaces ride quality was very similar to the 400 but body control very much improved. I was accompanied by Lotus UK Sales Manager Scott Walker and it says a lot about his confidence in the set up that the test route deliberately took in some really poor road surfaces, the car dealt with these impressively, perhaps not floating over them as the 400 would, but very composed with no tramlining (in itself an achievement when you consider the wider tyres and more aggressive geometry).
I have to admit that before the test drive my thoughts were would the Ohlins be a worthwhile upgrade for the 400, the answer yes definitely. 
Following the test drive I'm wondering how I can raise the 60k on top of my 400 to get into one of 20 UK GT 430s. 

IMG_0133.HEIC

IMG_0135.HEIC

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It has the thinner aluminium rear diffuser from the GT410 Sport 

Edited by SFO

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Glad you enjoyed it, but not at all surprised. Any comment on the engine performance compared to the 400?

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Bit difficult to say, pretty marginal, I've got a quiet exhaust on mine which takes away some of the "feeling" of speed and the 430 had the exhaust  valve open.

Roads were greasy so I didn't really give it the beans, the chassis of the 430 was the most impressive thing.

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You get the 430 chassis if you opt for the race suspension option with Öhlins on GT410 Sport. 

Over £21k cheaper 👍

 

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Or approx 5k for Ohlins for my 400 and save £60k😀

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3 hours ago, SFO said:

You get the 430 chassis if you opt for the race suspension option with Öhlins on GT410 Sport. 

Over £21k cheaper 👍

 

It's not the halo car but from reading all the reviews I think the GT410 Sport with Ohlin’s TTX damping option maybe the sweet spot of the Evora range...

 

2 hours ago, Solstice said:

Or approx 5k for Ohlins for my 400 and save £60k😀

But where's the Carbon?? A supermodel in lingerie or polo neck sweater and duffle coat!!😜

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We have spec’d a GT410 sport against a similar spec’d GT430 sport cost difference about £4.5K however you get the “J” pattern discs slight weight / engine power on the 430

the full fat version of the GT430 is the Lotus halo car 

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15 hours ago, JayEmm said:

Considering the extremely limited run nature of the 430 I am equal parts pleased and amazed how many dealers are now running them as demo cars... have Lotus given them some big incentive or something?

Someone has to buy them.

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It is quite shameful that a limited edition run is not outsold upon announcement let alone a few months after.

Whilst I love the 430 and Evoras in general, Lotus do really need to change their overall game with upcoming new models.

 

Edited by Registered

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Just too expensive (and compared to the competition) for most people. I think there are plenty of current Lotus owners who'd like one, but very few can afford one. Those will that sort of cash, who are non-lotus enthusiasts, the Evora won't even be on their radar. They'll be looking at the usual sub super cars (GT-S, R8V10, GT3/4, Turbo,Vantage,etc), and the second hand market has even more to offer that is equally/more exciting with less depreciation. Clearly it's JMG strategy to make 100K+ cars moving forward as there's not enough profit in the lower end for him (with current volumes), problem is, will anyone buy them at that price?

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They may well do if they drive one! I was very impressed.

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Indeed. But they might not even know about the model. 

Edited by bosshog

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4 hours ago, bosshog said:

Just too expensive (and compared to the competition) for most people. I think there are plenty of current Lotus owners who'd like one, but very few can afford one. Those will that sort of cash, who are non-lotus enthusiasts, the Evora won't even be on their radar. They'll be looking at the usual sub super cars (GT-S, R8V10, GT3/4, Turbo,Vantage,etc), and the second hand market has even more to offer that is equally/more exciting with less depreciation. Clearly it's JMG strategy to make 100K+ cars moving forward as there's not enough profit in the lower end for him (with current volumes), problem is, will anyone buy them at that price?

To expensive do you want Lotus to make a loss on them. The cars you mentioned come on , the 430 makes them look silly a Vantage your having a joke and your list they would used first or second owner cars, we go on about the Esprit all the time and we all want it a new version of it, well it was a expensive car in its time and the first time Lotus bring us something thing that is comparable given the time factor all we do is moan. Lotus have never been in a position as it is now with the new ownership, me for one can see some of less positive members on here eating there hats in 5 years time.

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Jonny is quite right that the situation over at Porsche has nothing to do with the quality of the cars. I recall working for a place with 3 996 GT3 in for £35k - we could not shift them. The same cars are all double that now.

Porsche had to discount 997 GT3 RS just to get rid of them. Not enough buyers for a car that didn't have obvious benefits to most people.

When MJK ran Lambo, they made something like 150 cars a year or so?

The sad reality is very few will ever "get" what a Lotus is about. I usually tell people asking me about my 400 if they want to go fast in a straight line, get a Golf R. Much quicker at half the price. But it's not the point.

I agree that a Lotus has never been about sheer horsepower numbers, but when we ALL know the mechanical differences in the engine between the 400 and 430 are basically negligible, it's a big big ask to make of people to spend. I applaud those who do.

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The challenge for lotus is to be innovative with their marketing, they need to get the right kind of people test driving their cars, I really think that "once bitten forever smitten"

but who are the right people? 

What are they driving at the moment?

and what are the lotus USPs that they should be building the marketing / brand around?

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Marketing? What's that?

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12 hours ago, scotty435 said:

To expensive do you want Lotus to make a loss on them. The cars you mentioned come on , the 430 makes them look silly a Vantage your having a joke and your list they would used first or second owner cars, we go on about the Esprit all the time and we all want it a new version of it, well it was a expensive car in its time and the first time Lotus bring us something thing that is comparable given the time factor all we do is moan. Lotus have never been in a position as it is now with the new ownership, me for one can see some of less positive members on here eating there hats in 5 years time.

Scotty you seem to think that I want Lotus to make a loss or that I think the Vantage it a better car (or horsepower @The Pits). I don't. But I say it again - the Evora is not on the radar of 95% of people with that sort of financial means to buy a 130K car, they simply don't even know of its existence, or don't put Lotus in the same category as other marques in this price bracket, and/or feel their money is 'more safe' in the financial GT3/4/RS bonds(!). 

Edited by bosshog

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And that is the fundamental challenge to Lotus, because the product is good enough.

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It's better than good enough. :) But it's still a lot of money.  Watching from here I observe that the real prices on road are similar for both countries.  I think we usually pay a bit more but at the moment there is a glut of 400s here and that is driving new car prices down.  Had I been presented with the choice, which of course I wasn't, I would probably have bought the 400 anyway but that was my mindset before I owned a Lotus.  Now I get it but even so, it would still be an act of courage to buy one here for me.  Others might be more at liberty to act.

 

 

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