New Evora 400 features more power, and improved packaging and handling, and goes on sale in August
Steve Cropley Autocar
18 May 2015

The new Lotus Evora 400 will cost from £72,000 when it goes on sale in August, the company has revealed.

Described as a faster, lighter and better-packaged version of the company's flagship, the Evora 400 will be the fastest production Lotus yet built, is the first fruit of a dramatic sales and product push masterminded by Jean-Marc Gales, the firm’s boss, whose aim is to treble volume to around 3500 cars a year in the next three years.

The revised Evora carries the ‘400’ tag because the output of its supercharged 3.5-litre V6 has been raised by 16% to 400bhp.

For its asking price, customers also get AP racing brakes, climate control and an infotainment system. The options list includes Alcantara or leather trim for £2500, cruise control for £300, and metallic paint for £900. Also available is a 'Black Pack', which colours some of the 400's body parts black for £1250.

Lotus recently confirmed the Evora 400 had lapped its Hethel test track six seconds faster than the old Evora S. It made its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

In total, 60% of the car’s parts are new. It has an all-new nose and tail styling, the cabin is completely redesigned and major modifications have been made to the extruded aluminium chassis tub which now offers greatly improved cabin access. The car’s dynamics have been refined, high-speed downforce has been improved and kerb weight has been cut by 22kg.

Sales for 2014-2015 are already up 63% year on year and are on target to beat the first-year mark of 2000 cars set by Gales.

Lotus is so confident of the Evora 400’s enhanced appeal that it is creating two production lines at Hethel (separating the Elise/Exige line and that of the Evora) and hiring an extra 150 production workers. This all forms part of a plan to lift production from the current 45 cars a week to around 70 by September, while incorporating a 10% cut in build times in order to feed a worldwide increase in dealers from the present 168 to more than 200 by the year’s end.

Gales calls the Evora 400 “a true supercar for today whose looks and performance can only be matched by cars costing much more”. He cites as evidence the 400’s compact dimensions, luxurious new interior, 186mph top speed and 0-60mph time of 4.1sec. Its Hethel lap time of 1min 32sec now equals that of the Exige S, the lap record holder in the current range.

These revisions are the first major changes to the Evora since its launch at the British motor show in 2008. The revised exterior adds 30mm to the overall length but contributes (with lighter seats and wheels) to the lower kerb weight.

The cooling apertures are larger and the front spoiler, rear wing and diffuser have been redesigned to double the downforce at 150mph. There’s no increase in frontal area, but the extra vents and downforce slightly increase the drag coefficient from 0.33 to 0.35. 

The Toyota-sourced V6 gets a bigger supercharger and a more efficient intercooler, both fitted by Lotus, plus improvements to its engine management and a three-inch exhaust tailpipe with a driver-activated valve that reduces back pressure (and sharpens the exhaust note) at higher speeds.

Modifications to the six-speed manual version’s powertrain include a new clutch and a lighter flywheel to smooth out gearshifts, while the optional six-speed automatic gearbox (which costs £2000) gets a new, sportier shift strategy and an elegant pair of column-mounted shift paddles. Selectable combinations of traction control and chassis stability functions give the choice of Drive, Sport and Race modes.

The biggest cabin news is a much-needed improvement to access and space. The chassis sills are now 43mm narrower and 56mm lower, footwell space is widened and door inners are thinner and lighter, giving occupants similar space and convenience to rivals, with no degradation in chassis rigidity.

Lighter front bucket seats each save 6kg and are more supportive, while occasional rear seats are also wider and lighter, while saving a further 3.4kg. There is an all-new fascia design incorporating the familiar instrument binnacle but with clearer graphics, and a new ventilation and air conditioning system. Lotus will offer a choice of three different trim levels with a luxurious full-leather edition at the top of the range.

Gales said: "The Evora 400 is the fastest road-going Lotus that we have ever produced. It delivers supercar looks allied to supercar performance and our global dealer network of 179 dealers which will grow to 200 by the end of the year is excited to be able to deliver this high performing benchmark handling supercar to the ever growing customer waiting list.”

Read more:

Autocar talks to Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales

New Lotus crossover to take on Porsche Macan

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Lotus Evora

Lotus moves upmarket with a 2+2 GT, but is the Lotus Evora an everyday car?

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Comments
15

18 February 2015
Front - great. Interior - great. Back - absolute mess. Honestly, I would have kept the interior the way it was if it meant they could have splashed some cash on a complete rear restyle.Lights are too small and the spoiler is way too complicated. The middle brake light completely dominates. However, what they've achieved on six and thrupence is fantastic.

18 February 2015
that could be worth considering - although I think you have to gulp a bit at the concept of it being £15k more than a Cayman GTS, however much faster it might be. To me two things will determine the success of Lotus and this car as the two seem intertwined. Can they build it to the standards demanded by £70k buyers and is it practical enough for this buyers to say "nope I'm bored of my Porsches and I'll have one of these which I will treat just the same as my Porsche - that is to say I'm going to use it every day, pack it full of luggage at weekends and generally treat it as a hot hatch" Hope so.

18 February 2015
Yawwwwwwwwwwn. Frankly you've gotta be stupid to choose this over a 911, albeit a poverty spec one, at only 2k less.

18 February 2015
Had a Evora S, got rid off it.
Very frustrating car- good looking, fantastic handling but build quality, access and reliability were things I could not live with, so got rid of it.
I personally would not buy a Lotus for 70k again.....

18 February 2015
Had a Evora S, got rid off it.
Very frustrating car- good looking, fantastic handling but build quality, access and reliability were things I could not live with, so got rid of it.
I personally would not buy a Lotus for 70k again.....

19 February 2015
This is such a disappointment. I love lotus and I was expecting a beautiful new front end and an updated interior. The front end is crude to say the least and the interior is awkward and clunky. The badge on the dashboard is far too big. Looks like it was taken from the back of an old esprit in the car park. I still think the first gen Evora is nice because it's pure and honest. The proportions could be better but the facelift doesn't tackle the problem. It looks like they could have done something amazing because they clearly spent a lot of money but who would spend 70k on this? It's in real Porsche territory and people were complaining the f-type is too expensive. That looks really well sorted in comparison and I feel I could trust the ftype. The Porsche is an obvious choice at this price point but Lotus needs to go back to its lightweight, cost effective, innovative roots- urgently. Get smart or wilt...

19 February 2015
Well looks like I'm in the minority here who likes the design inside and out, I also liked the original, let's not be too quick to condemn it and wait and see, I accept £70k is a lot, however saying it is overpriced because a Cayman is cheaper is the same as saying a 911 is overpriced over a Cayman. The volumes they are talking about will never challenge Porsche and are hopefully achievable, I am sure there are alot of people out there who don't want to follow the crowd and be individual who can afford this, I just wish I was one of them as I would love this on my drve.

30 April 2015
So 6 sec quicker round Hethel than the old model. Is that any good? We don't know what the conditions were like, who was driving the car(s), or more importantly, how fast other cars lap the Lotus test track. It matters little. It's not the lack of speed that's putting people off buying a Lotus, it's the lack of quality, customer care, dealers, value retention, image etc that the company needs to address. Making an already fast (and probably fragile) car even faster is not going to pull in customers. And it's certainly not news.

30 April 2015
LP in Brighton wrote:

So 6 sec quicker round Hethel than the old model. Is that any good? We don't know what the conditions were like, who was driving the car(s), or more importantly, how fast other cars lap the Lotus test track. It matters little. It's not the lack of speed that's putting people off buying a Lotus, it's the lack of quality, customer care, dealers, value retention, image etc that the company needs to address. Making an already fast (and probably fragile) car even faster is not going to pull in customers. And it's certainly not news.

It states in the article that it now equals the fastest model in the current range the Exige S with a time of 1:32, bloody quick in other words. It's got to be more relevant than say a Nurburgring time as they could do a lap pretty much any day at any time they want to so there shouldn't be too much variation in the conditions that the different cars are timed in. I would guess that the same test driver has been used for a majority of them as well but I could be wrong

30 April 2015
I think the main problem with all lotus models is just getting in them in the first place. And from the sounds of it they are starting to at least try and tackle that problem. The fact that if three quarters of the population cant even get in the cars in the first place its always going to limit the sales.

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