Currently reading: Lotus Evora 400 long-term test review: the benefits of a supple chassis
The Lotus Evora 400 has proven it's worth in our first long-term test; now we consider if its simplicity is a winning trait

A couple of colleagues have spent as much time in the Lotus Evora 400 as I have recently, so the temptation to take the long way home every time I get back into it has yet to expire.

That might be why the fuel economy is hovering in the low 20s, because I suspect other people who borrow it find the same. Both colleagues came back praising the way it steers and its agility, but they were also impressed with how well it rides.

That suppleness never changes regardless of what you do with the driving mode buttons, up on the top of the dashboard. The Evora has hydraulic steering and passive dampers, in a ‘we set it up so you don’t have to’ kind of way. So what you’ll notice if you give a prolonged push of the Sport button is a rise in the exhaust note and, likely as not, a downshift as the powertrain puts itself into a livelier mode.

The ’zorst can be put into angry mode even in the standard driving setting, in which case its button is backlit in red. Stick it in Sport (or Race), though, and it’s loud when the red light is off. Oddly. But you can have it loud, or not, in either mode, and when it’s on, it sounds great, genuinely rorty. Off, the overbearing noise is from the supercharger, and far more subdued.

 sp 2999

It gives quite a nice difference in character for more humdrum drives, which the Lotus good at, too. I like the car’s narrowness, both on back roads and in car parks, and appreciate the fitment of a reversing camera, because rearward visibility over the engine is poor. And although the door mirrors are good, the driver’s one doesn’t adjust far enough to the right, an issue I’ll see if a dealer can address when I get the squeaky driver’s seat looked at.

I’ve been thinking about the Evora’s options list. The Porsche Boxster wants quite a lot lavished on it to help it feel like the real thing, but none of the extras fitted to the Evora feels like an ‘essential’. I’m sure Porsche likes it if buyers feel compelled to add £15k to a list price, but if I were looking for an Evora, I’d feel glad that I didn’t have to.

Back to top

Lotus Evora 400

Price £72,000 Price as tested £80,600 Economy 23.7mpg Faults Squeaky seat (will visit dealer) Expenses None Last seen 15.6.16

Read our previous report:

First report 

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
TegTypeR 12 July 2016

"The Evora has hydraulic

"The Evora has hydraulic steering and passive dampers, in a ‘we set it up so you don’t have to’ kind of way."

That's the way it should be, not only on a Lotus but on most cars out there. Never has KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) been more relevant.

Peter Cavellini 12 July 2016

Ho hum........

Never mind updating the Evora,when are we going to get a new Lotus?
xxxx 12 July 2016

Compelled, really

" I’m sure Porsche likes it if buyers feel compelled to add £15k to a list price" Options are just that, options, you could add 15k to just about any high end car these days. I'll be interested to know what these compelling options are?
Scratch 12 July 2016


Maybe the compelling options are the ones that if you don't have them will render the car unattractive to others come the time when you want to sell. But for me, I might be tempted to go as simple as possible, enjoy the driving experience and hang onto the car for a long time.