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.
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