The new Evora GT410 Sport sits in the Evora range above the Evora 400 and quite a distance below the recent GT430 Sport and GT430. With an entry price of sub £86k (in the UK) it compares incredibly well to the base £75,100 Evora 400 and leaves a decent gap to the GT430 Sport at £104,500 and GT430 at £112,500.
TLF were lucky enough to spend 2 weeks with the Evora GT410 Sport to get a better feel for the car in more depth than a to the Lotus Factory in Hethel and a road/track test, to really see what the car is like in a variety of situations and over a longer period.
The first thing you’ll notice are the visually striking redesigned front and rear bumpers from the GT430 range. The GT410 Sport also benefits from almost as much exposed carbon fibre as its more expensive stable mates. From front to back of the car; the front bumper air blade are cf as is the front access hatch, the roof, the tailgate and then the aero inserts to the rear bumper. This carbon is done very well, the herringbone weave join in the middle of the front access hatch, the roof and tailgate pleases the OCD among us and forms a perfectly centred line along the length of the car. The only difference here to the more expensive cars is that they have front and rear bumpers made entirely from carbon fibre, whereas the GT410 Sport bumper are themselves rubberised GRP as per the Evora 400 and other Evoras before that.
Those bumpers do make a huge visual difference, elevating the car into a much more exotic looking machine. It’s definitely one of those cars that deserves a glance over your shoulder when you park it up and walk away. They also have a real aerodynamic benefit too with the front air blades forcing air out of a vertical vent inside the edge of the front bumper. This creates a curtain of fast, smooth low pressure air past the front wheel that acts as a venturi pulling air from the wheel arch creating downforce. The rear ducts work differently, offering the air in the rear arches an easier exit, therefore reducing pressure and creating downforce. This, combined with the large rear lip to the tailgate add up to a total of 96kgs of downforce at the cars top speed of 190mph. While you’ll need to be on the autobahn to experience this, it did feel significantly more planted during high speed corners in our hands. While a significant amount of this lateral grip can be attributed to the very sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres at the speeds you see on UK roads, the downforce is definitely working for you too. Mid-corner adjustments also felt a lot more stable than my own 2010 Evora which does tend to playfully move a little on the OE Pirelli P-Zeroes when pushed, the GT410 just stuck firm through the corner and if you needed to change your line, it’s a lot less fazed that you are.
The incredibly fast sub-4 second 0-60 makes you need to readjust your thinking to driving the GT410 Sport. While this isn’t something you’ll be doing often in the car, it translates into better acceleration through the rev and speed range. The acceleration is much more linear than the previous Sport 410, the torque curve feels like more of a torque ‘flat line’ as once it’s peaked early on the torque stays there. This, along with all the other improvements to the grip gives much more confidence in how the car reacts to your inputs, either acceleration or steering. It really is barmy fast, like, licence losing (sorry JMG!) fast. I didn’t have the chance to take it on track but I can only imagine how it’s upped its game in this respect as its road going demeanour is my car turned up to 11, no, make that 12. What I’d also like to imagine is what the GT430 (and Sport) are like to drive compared to the GT410. This is a proper car, a proper weapon, so take more weight out, add more power and you really are at the pinnacle of what the Evora range represents.
Something which stood out throughout my test was that while I’m used to getting a decent amount of attention driving around in an Evora, this one really had people getting their phones out for pictures. I had a number of friends want to go out for a quick drive in the GT410 Sport, even non-car friends who noticed how much more extreme it looked to what’s usually parked up at mine. You see people take a second glance and it does hold their gaze for some time! It’s actually 4cm shorter than a standard Evora and this gives the appearance of a wider, more aggressive looking car. It’s still <1.8m wide, the same as the Evora (bar the GTE) has always been. To finish this particular GT410 off, it was fitted with ultralight forged 19″ and 20″ wheels with yellow AP Racing 4 pot calipers all round riding on the huge 370mm 2-piece front discs and 350mm 2-piece rear discs.
The yellow accents to the calipers are carried over the the interior, with the HVAC controls surround, door pulls and stitching in matching colour. Nice touch, it worked really well on the car and lifted the interior, which is otherwise almost entirely Alcantara covered. This is great on the steering wheel, and I do love an Alcantara steering wheel, it feels very ‘race car’. This car was a 2+0 and fitted with the more GT styled Sparco seats (a £3,500 option) rather than the carbon fibre sports seats. Being Alcantara with leather panels, they are very grippy which is handy in a car which corners so well and even on a 450 mile round trip from Kent to Cheshire for the Oakmere Lotus open day, they were a great place to be, no complaints here.
That was a long drive, mainly motorway (where 31mpg was shown on the dash display, not bad for a 410 hp supercharged V6!) and while the GT410 feels more stiffly sprung in comparison to earlier cars, it’s still a very decent GT car. Mid-range acceleration is effortless, the torque feels strong from 2,000rpm upwards so miles can be munched with ease. Where the car was more fun was when we were diverted into the depths of the Peak District on this trip. With the car in ‘Race’ mode, the valve on the Titanium exhaust (£5,500 option) stays open and boy does it sound good, very good! Heading along the A & B roads of the Peaks, through the undulations and sharp bends you start to get a feel of how much grip the car has when you lean on it. With acceleration on demand, brakes that you will never trouble in road (or indeed track) driving, the car takes on it’s ‘duality’ and moves from a GT into a more race-bred experience. The steering, which I’d say really is the strongest point of the Evora (and indeed Lotus) is fantastic. EPAS indeed! I’m talking to you EVO magazine! Light enough to allow fairly vigorous and quick inputs, the tactility of the steering feel means you know exactly how much grip the car has instantaneously and how much effort it’s putting into getting you round that corner. Turn in is tack sharp, I didn’t experience a jot of understeer once. It’s been a while since I’ve had to relearn how fast you can actually go into a corner and make it around, the GT410 needs you to up your game to keep up with it. The Cup 2 is an amazing tyre, I didn’t trouble them at all during my time with the car, in fact one of the things that I noticed was that they do pick up stones into the arches, that same noise when you’ve come off a track day session and you’ve put a lot of heat into the rubber. Again, race car. Nice.
It’s been a fun couple of weeks with the GT410 Sport. Would I buy one? Yes. It’s got the benefits of the Evora that I like as a drivers car plus that ‘duality’ I mentioned of a usable GT with it’s other, naughtier side once you’re having some fun. While my car has this too, the performance and very much the looks make this a very serious upgrade to the Evora. Quality is spot on. The finish of the paint is flawless, the carbon work is sublime, honestly true supercar quality. The interior is excellent with no rattles or squeaks, the gear change is the best of any Evora I’ve driven and with the increases in power and improvements to what was already class leading, if not world leading steering and suspension add up to an impressive package. Go find a dealer and drive one then I’ll challenge you not to want to take it home if it’s a real drivers car you’re after!