Following on from our previous Long Term Test Evora’s, TLF have been asked to spend some time with the Evora 400. Let’s not pull any punches, a 70% new car with improvements across the board the 400 is a large-scale evolution of the previous Evora, a car that itself took home a good number of ‘Car of the Year’ awards when it was launched back in 2009. First impressions are that it’s clearly the best car we’ve ever driven dynamically in every respect. On our first test of the car after 30 minutes on the test track at Hethel we’d shaved 15 seconds off per lap, a clue as to how much confidence this car gives you to push, push, push and explore its limits and your own. That said, it’s not the ‘track car’ of the Lotus range, a gap clearly filled with the Elise/Exige so we’ll be concentrating on what the car is like to live with on a daily basis.
This Evora 400 is well optioned. With a £72,000 base price for the 2+2 (95% of Evoras sold are 2+2’s), we have the black pack which gives you a black roof, sills, mirrors and a dark headlining (£1,500), the Alcantara pack (£2,500), Metallic orange paint (£900), Cruise Control (£300), black brake calipers (£300) and gloss black forged wheels (19″ & 20″) which are an extra £2,000 over the standard cast alloys. Total cost as tested, £79,500.
Just to give you a flavour of what the Evora 400 represents:
- Fastest production Lotus ever.
- Lotus Evora 400 to lap the test track at Hethel, Norfolk in 1 minute 31 seconds, seven seconds faster than the previous model.
- 42 kg lighter than previous car despite additional chargecooler.
- Flat torque curve and torque increased to 302 lbs ft (410 Nm) achieved between 3,500 to 6,500 rpm.
- First time that a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) has been used on a Lotus series production car as standard (Torsen type (LSD) which gives a more involving drive and better traction, to produce better lap times),
- Powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine with a new supercharger, water-to-air charge-cooler.
- New engine mounts are 5.6 kg lighter than in the previous Lotus Evora.
- A number of manual gearbox enhancements have greatly improved shift quality including a new clutch disc and a low inertia flywheel that ensure swift and tactile gearchanges.
- New more powerful, two-piece, cross-drilled and ventilated brake discs, which are 370 x 32 mm front and 350 x 32 mm rear diameters (previous Evora: 350 x 32 mm front and 332 x 26 mm rear).
- The lightweight forged aluminium wheels are 3.3 kg lighter than the forged wheels on the previous Evora.
- At 150 mph the downforce is 32 kg (12 kg on the front and 20 kg on the rear) for the Evora 400. The previous Evora S generated 6 kg front and 10 kg on the rear.
- The sills are 43 mm per side narrower and 56mm lower than the previous Evora without degradation of either torsional stiffness, which remains at a rigid 27,000 Nm / degree
- All new front seats are lighter (by 3 kg each) and provide greater support for both driver and front passenger. These seats also incorporate side airbags which is a requirement of the USA’s NHSTA to allow the car to return to the Federal market. North American markets will receive the Evora 400 as a 2017 model year presentation in the Spring of 2016.