Lotus launches the lightest Evora ever. It’s also the best yet
For Lotus, adding lightness is everything. No matter how much a car weighed, its founder Colin Chapman believed it could weigh less. This benefitted handling, performance, efficiency – and Lotus today now has a renewed focus on following its founder’s legacy.
Take the new 2016 Evora Sport 410. This is a car that weighs a staggering 70kg less than the model it replaces. That’s the weight of an adult. It’s a huge amount by modern car standards, all achieved by lighter doors, tailgate, seats, you name it. Even the climate control and stereo have been ditched, although you can add them back in if you want – for free. Most will, reckons Lotus.
As if that wasn’t benefit enough to the power-to-weight ratio, Lotus has also given it an extra 10bhp. That’s good for 190mph all-out and a 0-60mph time of just 4.0sec. This car is now Porsche 911 GT3-fast.
Lotus Evora Sport 410
Engine: V6, 3456cc, supercharged, petrol
Gearbox: 6-speed manual
Top speed: 190mph
Fuel economy: 29.1mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 225g/km
It’s not just a power boost that marks out the Sport 410 over the standard Evora 400 either. Lotus has lowered it by 5mm, fitted stiffer dampers, upped the downforce and added on exotic Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. It all adds up to a three-second lap time reduction around its Hethel test track.
It’s wonderful on track. The limits are high but it will happily let you gradually approach them, without throwing any nasty tricks into the mix to catch you out. The clarity on circuit is magnificent and it’s incredibly easy to control for one so fast.
Its incredible steering is just as sublime out on the road. There’s a magnificent amount of feedback and gets sharper the faster you go, without becoming over-sharp.
Similarly the suspension. It’s focused and planted, but not over-stiff or edgy. The ride is brilliant, in fact, and it’s really nice and pliant around town. Take it across a country road at speed and the poise is perfect. There’s a flood of sensations but it’s not sensation overload. Absolutely spot-on, no matter what the road, speed or conditions.
This is a true Lotus alright, if one with a sweeter-than-ever engine that keeps on pulling, hard, long after pretty much every car you’ll ever meet on the road has given up. This new mechanical richness is reflected inside as well, mind. No Lotus has ever been this better built. Despite all the weight-saving.
Trouble is, few Lotus have ever cost quite this much, either. £82,000 is a whopping amount of cash. Thing is, the abilities of the car justify it. If you’ll spend that on a Porsche 911, you should certainly consider paying that for this designer-built car.
This is a car from a maker that’s remaining true to its heritage but also keeping on top of its game. The Evora Sport 410 is among the best Lotus ever produced by the firm. It stays true to its roots but builds upon them without lazily resting on them. The weight (reduction) has been worth it.