From £51,5509
Lightest, fastest Evora yet proves itself as well suited to the road as it is to the track; this is Lotus at its very best

Our Verdict

Lotus Evora

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

  • First Drive

    Lotus Evora GT430 2017 review

    The fastest, most powerful and most expensive Lotus ever made is also one of the best
  • First Drive

    2016 Lotus Evora Sport 410

    Lightest, fastest Evora yet proves itself as well suited to the road as it is to the track; this is Lotus at its very best
1 November 2016

What is it?

Consider the Evora Sport 410 Lotus’s equivalent of a Ferrari Speciale model or a Porsche 911 GT3; indeed, that’s not our summation but that of Hethel, keen to assert just how focused this new Evora is.

To that end, the power gain – a modest 10bhp over the Evora 400 – is not the main talking point, the attention instead focusing on mass reduction and chassis set-up. So the Sport 410 weighs a significant 70kg less than the already lithe Evora 400 – now just 1280kg dry – with a titanium exhaust able to shed another 10kg for £5500. Lotus claims a ready-to-go weight (all fluids and with a 90% fuel load) of 1325kg. That’s not a great deal of mass for 410bhp to move around, the 309bhp per tonne power-to-weight ratio enough for a 4.0sec sprint to 60mph and 190mph flat out.

The weight saving has come through a myriad of fascinating measures, from the small (the door card panels are now 2kg lighter each) to the more significant (the one-piece carbonfibre tailgate contributes 12kg).

In addition to the reduced mass, this car also benefits from a 5mm drop in ride height, stiffer dampers, increased downforce and standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Lotus claims a significant three-second advantage over the standard Evora 400 around its Hethel test track.

What's it like?

The Evora Sport 410 is everything driving enthusiasts love about Lotus – the poise, the involvement, the balance – made tangibly more thrilling, but without losing sight of the standard Evora charm.

Below even 30mph, the Sport 410 is working its magic. The steering has fluidity and feedback to shame every electric system out there, while the new seats – which save 9kg each – grab in all the right places and pedal weights are spot on. Immediately the Evora inspires confidence.

It only improves with speed, the Evora’s extraordinary ability to flow with a British B-road still its standout dynamic quality. The more aggressive set-up certainly makes the ride busier, but the Sport 410 can still shrug off the very worst bumps in a way many rivals would struggle with; it is always completely unflustered, leaving you to concentrate on enjoying the experience.

The brakes want for nothing in either feel or performance, the manual gearbox is surprisingly slick and the engine is strong. Really strong, in fact, certainly keen enough to make good on those acceleration claims and sound superb in the process. With a supercharger instead of a turbo, throttle response is eager – made more so in Sport or Race mode – and with a flat torque curve from 3500rpm to almost the limiter, it will pull hard in any gear.  

On a circuit, the Sport 410 package comes together even better than on the road. Those suspension tweaks, combined with the super-sticky tyres and a limited-slip diff, give it exceptional composure. By adding carbonfibre further up the car, Lotus claims the centre of gravity is lowered by 12mm, and the Evora fairly scythes through the faster corners at the Hethel test track. Grip and traction are huge, but so involving are the controls and so clear the messages fed back through the controls that it’s never aloof. The very opposite, in fact. As a road-going track day car, this has to rank with the best.

Other observations? This Evora feels like a better-built product than even recent Lotuses, which is encouraging. It’s the little details, such as the quality of the materials and the stitching, that stand out. Be absolutely sure on your spec, though; neither an infotainment system nor air conditioning is standard. They are no-cost options, though, adding 4.3kg and 8.5kg respectively. 

Should I buy one?

If you value driving above all else and are fed up with how some manufacturers sell their track-focused models, the Sport 410 is a glorious car, melding fantastic outright speed with dynamic nuance and reward. In a world that seems to prioritise multitudinous modes rather than a proper set-up, driving a car this entertaining with hydraulic power steering, passive dampers and conventional springs isn’t far off a revelation.

Sure, something like a Porsche 911 will prove a more amenable everyday car, but the Lotus is far from intolerable, even if the seats began to prove uncomfortable for this taller-than-average driver after a while. And while some may cringe at the prospect of an £80k Lotus, it not only comfortably stands comparison with rivals at this price but will also require no options where many others will.

The Sport 410 is not the car to convince those unsure of Lotus’s methods. Some people will just buy a 911 regardless. Instead, this very special Evora shows off Lotus at its absolute best and, for those to whom that matters, that’s extremely good news indeed.

Matt Bird

Lotus Evora Sport 410 

Location Hethel; On sale Now; Price £82,000; Engine V6, 3456cc, supercharged, petrol; Power 416bhp at 7000rpm; Torque 302lb ft at 3500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1325kg; 0-60mph 4.0sec; Top speed 190mph; Economy 29.1mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 225g/km, 37%; Rivals Porsche 911 Carrera, Nissan GT-R 

Join the debate

Comments
9

1 November 2016
I hope Lotus is brought out by Geely and gets some proper funding like Volvo. It would be interesting to see what the engineering talent at Lotus can do.

1 November 2016
A bit like Maserati and Formula 1, we should no longer associate Lotus and light weight. Sure, they're a little bit lighter than the competition but there's not much in it these days. I think the thrust of articles needs to be different so as not to fall into that trap.

I'd say for a driving experience you could argue it's good value. But paying £82k for a Lotus requires bravery.


1 November 2016
Spec the AC and go to the gym.

1 November 2016
Love Lotus.

1 November 2016
I'm a patriot, an old-style Lotus fan, a devotee of engineering led design and sign off. But c'mon £80k+ for this? Are they crazy?
Most of us buy cars now on a monthly rental. God knows what this costs
I'm in the market but am I really going to swap my Boxster S for this?
And they thought Danny Bahahaahsa was mad.....

1 November 2016
I'm a patriot, an old-style Lotus fan, a devotee of engineering led design and sign off. But c'mon £80k+ for this? Are they crazy?
Most of us buy cars now on a monthly rental. God knows what this costs
I'm in the market but am I really going to swap my Boxster S for this?
And they thought Danny Bahahaahsa was mad.....

1 November 2016
Seems like the pinnacle of what Lotus currently produce. About time for a new 130K or so Esprit to rival 570S and its like.

ofir

2 November 2016
Outdated inside and outside. It has an excellent drivetrain but normal driver likes extra equipment and not lap times

5 November 2016
The yellow trimmings really brighten up the interior, that's excellent and lots of manufacturers need to follow that example and put some vibrancy into their interior styling. A brighter paint colour would be an improvement also. Something fruity, like lime, pineapple or raspberry. As mentioned previously, however, 1325kg isn't truly lightweight, the way Chapman made them in the early days. And it's expensive. I still like it though.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK