The cliches are strong when it comes to Lotus. ‘It handles like a Lotus’ and ‘the steering wheel brims with feel like in a Lotus’ are phases that have peppered reviews of supercars in magazines for decades. Goodwood SpeedWeek offered up the chance for me to, finally, put the claims to the test and drive a Lotus in anger for the very first time. Could the British built sports cars really live up to the hype?
First up was an opportunity to explore the glorious roads around Goodwood in an Evora GT 410 Sport. This is the less hardcore, more road focused Evora. That being said, it’s still plenty quick – as the name would suggest, there is 410 horsepower and 410Nm of torque on tap from the 3.5 litre supercharged V6. Adding lightness is the Lotus ethos and as a result, the 1,361kg Evora with a 6-speed manual transmission will hit 100km/h in 4.2 seconds.
Lotus GT 410 Sport
Our on the road initial impressions are that the GT 410 Sport feels small on the road, heading down narrow lanes in a car this size means that I felt confident in finding the limits without grimacing every time a car passed me in the opposite direction. The other overriding impression is made from the sensational exhaust note. The tone may be a touch too trumpet like, but every time the revs built so did the size of my grin. Chasing the redline is a joy, as is the gear change. The exposed linkage is a cool touch, but the real joy is in shifting that towering metal stick that rises from it. When you’re done with engaging the next gear and jump back onto the throttle, you notice something moving in the rear view mirror over your left shoulder. There is a window directly behind the driver and passenger which gives a view of the engine and the throttle linkage actuating the fuel to air ratio – a very neat touch.
Finally, there is the handling. Much like the gearshift, the steering is fabulous, as are the pedal weightings. Heeling-and-toeing takes some getting used to the as brake and throttle pedal are a couple of centimetres too far apart – the entire pedal box is a touch offset to the left, but it is not uncomfortable. The ride over the broken Chichester roads was a touch on the harsh side, but the road surface really was as bad as it gets.
Trundling back into the Goodwood Paddock, I was sad to hand the keys back, but my dejection was short lived as a Lotus Exige Cup 430 was waiting for me to hustle around the circuit. I’ve had the pleasure of driving a number of cars on track lately. From the McLaren 765LT to a Mini GP3, nothing has immediately felt as dialled in, yet entertaining as this. The mid-engined balance immediately feels sublime, the unassisted steering is a joy at speed and the pull of the 430 horsepower culminate in one of the friendliest and exciting track experiences I’ve had.
All of the feedback, from the base of the seat through to the steering feedback in my palms, is far more concentrated and communicative than any Porsche Cayman I have driven. A Cayman GTS 4.0 is the natural rival for the Cup 430, but the Porsche cannot compete when it comes to track day focus. I suspect that if you could only have one car to live with, the Porsche would be the obvious choice, but if you are looking for something better suited to learning a racetrack in, the Lotus has the Porsche on the ropes and that is not a conclusion I expected to be making. Bravo Lotus, believe the hype. Forget about the 2,000 horsepower electric hypercar race, the Evora and Exige are what Lotus and know for and do best.
Lotus Cup 430
October 18, 2020 / Comments Off on Special Report: My First Lotus Experience – Goodwood SpeedWeek
Lotus first launched the Evora in 2009. The model was intended to be a more refined and practical version of the less-than-civilized Elise/Exige. The UK-based manufacturer hoped it would appeal to a larger demographic than its linemate and consequently bring the brand more to the mainstream.
Retaining the important characteristics which make a Lotus car unique, the Evora is a balanced, mid-engined, lightweight car that is a pleasure to drive with a profile that is undeniably made-in-Hethel. Unlike the Elise/Exige, the Evora was immediately praised for its ride comfort, utilizing a suspension able to expertly negotiate the harshness of daily public road use while being more than formidable on the track.
In 2012, the Evora received its first major refresh – significant at the time, as the Elise/Exige were phased out, making the Evora the only model in Lotus’ lineup. The car became likened and often compared to its direct competitor – the Porsche 911 Carrera.
In recent times, more so than ever, competition in the high-performance sports car segment seems to be flying off the rails. With an abundance of innovations and new technologies being made available for use on production road cars, Lotus made its biggest step in modernizing the car in 2015 with the release of the Evora 400 then the Evora Sport 410 shortly after.
The latest iteration of the Evora is in the form of its new GT430 trim. While the 400 variant is seen as more of an equal to the Porsche 911 Carrera S, the GT430 is believed to be in direct competition with the Porsche 911 GT3. Based on everything the car has to offer – including its price – it makes for a difficult case to refute such a claim.
If there is one thing that defines the Lotus brand, it would have to be it’s aversion to anything with mass. While the ‘GT430’ moniker correctly points out that this is the most powerful Lotus ever made at 430 horsepower, it is the less “in-your-face” details about the car which truly make it greater than the sum of its parts.
There are two trim levels for this model: the GT430 and GT430 Sport, the latter being the same car – albeit the more understated of the two – with the absence of the large rear wing and scrape-baiting front splitter. The Sport weighs 10 kg less, which is characteristically deemed to be worthy of a mention on Lotus’ website.
Features and Highlights
As with the previous Evora, the GT430 continues to employ the supercharged 3.5L V-6 power plant supplied by Toyota. The main difference, of course, is the that it now produces a whopping 430 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque which earns it the title as Lotus’ fastest production car.
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and comes standard with a Torsen limited-slip differential. A six-speed automatic transmission is available as a cost option. Altogether, Lotus claims that the GT430 is able to achieve 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph.
The Evora GT430 comes standard with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, a feature reserved for vehicles of a supercar pedigree. Eibach springs, front and rear anti-roll bars and Ohlins TTX two-way adjustable dampers help to ensure the car stays planted and predictable under even the most demanding driver inputs.
Servo assisted two-piece J-hook ventilated brake discs and AP Racing four-piston calipers provide the immense stopping power needed to complement the GT430’s power and race car inspired chassis.
While the car is more powerful than ever, it can be said that the GT430 benefits the most from a plethora of weight reduction and aerodynamic upgrades.
Loaded with carbon fiber parts in places you would (and wouldn’t) expect, the upgraded Lotus is almost 300 pounds lighter than the Evora 400 and 57 pounds less than the Sport 410. That is a huge deal for a car that is the improved version of a model that never had any weight issues, to begin with.
Large air vents in the front of the GT430 and a rear diffuser in the back, channel airflow efficiently through the car to minimize turbulence and maximize stability at high speeds.
The massive rear wing and front splitter (which are removed from the Sport trim) fittingly create the downforce needed to harmonize with the GT430’s overall performance and appearance. Lotus states the vehicle’s aero components are able to generate up to 250 kg of downforce, which is significantly more than previous Evora iterations.
The GT430’s interior is surprisingly well put together and it makes the barebones interiors of older Lotus models, look and feel like a piece of ancient history.
Premium leather and Alcantara is found throughout the interior – in the places that matter most – while carbon fiber accents provide an overall high-end finish befitting of the car’s outwardly stature.
Sparco sports seats with carbon backs, a Lotus-developed Alcantara steering wheel, and an infotainment system are cost options for those who desire a differentiating factor, improved driver feel and a bit of extra convenience.
Reviews of the 2017 Lotus Evora GT430 by a number of renowned and respected auto journalists, all appear to be very much on the same wavelength.
The GT430 is a very serious car for very serious money; Porsche 911 GT3 money, to be more exact. Inevitably, this will lead to the car being measured up and compared to its German counterpart more as a benchmark than as an equal. The recognition, familiarity, and heritage of the Porsche will always be top of mind when deciding how to splash upwards of $140,000 USD on a car.
Nevertheless, it is also generally agreed upon that this isn’t a car that should or would be cross-shopped with another. The prospect of owning a GT430 goes beyond just the numbers and pure rationality. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but will more than satisfy anyone discerning enough for its taste.
The GT430 will also undoubtedly be a rare collector’s item, with Lotus claiming that it currently only plans to make 60 units. However, Lotus says we can also expect a US-spec version sometime in the spring of 2018 which would make it more widely available, at least on the North American continent.
Specifications and Performance Summary
Pricing and Model Info
2017 – Present
Series Production Car
Hethel, United Kingdom
Base Price (US)
Base Price (UK)
Chassis and Powertrain
Body / Frame
Anodized, lightweight aluminum, extruded, epoxy bonded and riveted high-stiffness chassis
Double wishbone with Eibach tubular front and rear anti-roll bars
Servo assisted two-piece J-hook ventilated brake discs with ultra-lightweight rear aluminum disc bells and AP Racing four piston calipers (front 370mm x 32mm, rear 350mm x 32mm)
24 valve, watercooled
Direct Fuel Injection
6-Speed manual, optional 6-speed automatic
430 hp @ 7000 rpm
Power / litre
123 hp / litre
Power (bhp) / weight
342 hp / ton
325 lb – ft
190 mph (305 km/h)
250 kg (at max speed)
234 g / km
0-60 mph (Manual)
0-60 mph (Automatic)
0-100 km/h (Manual)
0-100 km/h (Automatic)
May 1, 2018 / Comments Off on The Evora GT430 – Lotus’ Fastest Production Car To Date
A report in Autocar suggests that Renault, Infiniti and Lotus are in talks that Renault is considering a production version of the Alpine A110-50 concept. The production version “probably needs more than the Renault-Nissan Alliance on its own,” that’s where Lotus steps in with its Evora platform, supplying the “running bits” for the Alpine.
The Evora platform is also the basis for the Infiniti Emerg-E concept which is in the process of being developed even though no decision has been made on the production. The company has stated that Emerg-E “could be built in Britain.” Lotus, on the other hand, claims it’s ahead of schedule for the 408 horsepower, 738 pound-feet of torque and 30-mile electric range Evora 414E.
The alliance of Renault and Infiniti with Lotus could help make all three cars a good possibility.
August 15, 2012 / Comments Off on Lotus Could Build Production Versions Of Renault Alpine, Infiniti Emerg-E
The new Evora GX Grand-Am Racer has been unveiled by Lotus. The Evora based race car is loosely based on the Evora GTC racer that competes in the regular GT class. The Evora GX will get its own touches covered in the specs below.
Lack of traction control
New carbon fiber doors, roof and engine cover
Plexiglass windows cut the weight down to around 2,535 pounds
New front splitter and front bumper
Standard Rolex series rear wing
ABS and traction control removed
New fuel filler system, Continental tires, and yellow headlamps
4.0-liter V-6, 440 horsepower
XTRAC six-speed sequential gearbox
McMahon Raceworks with Condor Motorsport jumped at placing an order for the Evora GX Grand-Am Racer to used in the Grand-Am Rolex series taking place later this year.
The 2012 Lotus Evora GX race car carries a price tag of $335,000 and will be built to order.
July 25, 2012 / Comments Off on OFFICIAL: Lotus Unveils 2012 Evora GX Grand-Am Racer