Published on July 18th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lotus Evora 400 Test Driven In The Wet & Dry
There is not much said and mentioned about the Lotus brand and their range of track focused cars with the Malaysian media. Probably because it is owned by Proton and the Lotus branding has been used a little but too much on each and every Proton model (ride and handling by Lotus) over the years. Even with some rather mundane sedans. The ‘Lotus’ ride and handling branding should have been reserved for special cars like the Satria GTI (pictured below), the Satria Neo and probably the Putra GTI.
Well, we are test driving the all new Lotus Evora 400 which is a purpose designed sports car for the global market. The Lotus Evora is hand crafted and built on a dedicated new assembly line within Lotus’s advanced manufacturing facility at Hethel in the east of England; capacity limitations had restricted production to approximately 2500 cars a year, ensuring this dynamic new sports car’s rarity and exclusivity.
Just by looking at the Lotus Evora you are informed by its design that it promises breath-taking performance point to point. So why did Lotus bring the Evora to market. Well, 1st there was the need to expand its product portfolio, 2nd there was increased pent up demand from existing Lotus Elise owners for a new sport car and 3rd and more importantly the Evora was designed to tackle the global market, more importantly the North American market where the car needed a bigger engine, more crash safety regulations passed and increased comfort for day to day usage.
Lotus Evora Design
Designed ‘in-house’ by Lotus Design, the sleek and athletic Evora 400 is still low and wide with a revised face and nose incorporating neat little changes to aid in its aerodynamics. The view from the rear three-quarters is just as striking and the one that many will become familiar with as the car passes them on the road. The tapered cabin, diffuser, floating wing, centrally mounted twin tailpipes and distinctive engine bay vents all combine to create a completely unique look.
The design language of the Lotus Evora employs a softer approach that utilises premium quality materials and finishes to create a contemporary but luxurious ambience that is unique to Lotus products. Much of the switchgear is bespoke, and every metallic component is actually metal.”
The extensive use of handcrafted, premium leather differentiates The Lotus Evora from other Lotus products before. A bespoke air-conditioning system developed by Bergstrom is standard and has been designed for the hottest climate or the closest humidity to help provide maximum occupant comfort. Lotus traction control and on-board tyre pressure monitoring is also available.
Lotus Evora Cabin
The front seats themselves are very supportive and leather clad with a lightweight manual adjustment mechanism for fore and aft designed to give a supported driving position. The right sized steering wheel adjustes for rake and lumbar for most heights.
The rear seats of 2+2 versions of the Lotus Evora are intended for small children only. To maximise comfort in the rear, there’s a decent amount of foot-room under the seats in front, while both back seats feature ISOFIX mountings for secure child seat fitment.
When unoccupied, the rear seats provide a convenient stowage area, adding to the Lotus Evora’s appeal as an everyday car. The 160 litre boot, which ingeniously features a fresh air cooling system to reduce the effect of any heat ingress from the engine bay, will also accommodate a full set of golf clubs.
Lotus Evora Safety
The Lotus Evora’s bonded extruded aluminium chassis tub has incredible inherent strength, particularly in regard to side impacts. Additional torsional strength is given to the whole structure by the tubular steel seatbelt anchorage frame that also acts as a rollover structure. Driver and passenger airbags are standard.
Anti-lock brakes are standard, as is Lotus Traction Control (LTC); these systems have been specially developed in co-operation with Bosch and enable up and coming drivers to consistently exploit the braking and acceleration capabilities of the Lotus Evora, whilst allowing skilled enthusiasts the freedom to enjoy the full Lotus driving experience.
Lotus Evora Handling
The Lotus Evora suspension wishbones are forged from aluminium to reduce the unsprung mass. The Lotus Evora uses Bilstein high performance dampers and Eibach springs with unique dual path top mounts for optimised vehicle refinement. Hydraulically assisted power steering is provided by a Lotus tuned TRW steering rack.
All in all, the Lotus Evora delivers. It comes with vented and cross-drilled brake discs, massive 370mm items on the front and 350mm at the rear and high performance bespoke Lotus AP Racing 4-pot callipers to ensure impressive stopping power. Tyre choice now moves to Michelin.
Lotus Evora V6 Engine
The Lotus Evora engine supplier is Toyota with its all-alloy 3.5-litre V6 DOHC, with dual VVT-i (‘intelligent’ variable valve timing) and this power unit is mated to a revised Edelbrock supercharger for maximum enjoyment.
Lotus Evora Drive
This Evora is a sort of successor to the Lotus Eclat. A 2+2 sports car with little intentions of having 2 kids in the cramped rear seat. What the Evora does is provided a comfortable, driver focused cabin with a drive dynamics that shames many established sport car brands. The Toyota supplied V6 ignites with a rumble that excites. You accelerate hard and the V6 screams to joy. This just might be one of the most exciting driver’s cars ever to come from Hethel. The mid-range punch is almost immediate and the only power lag if any comes from the driver’s indecisiveness to go fast forward.
Weaving in and out of traffic can be fun with its precise steering inputs and quick reaction to turns. Just flick left and right with eyes on the mirrors and you will see many road warriors trying to chase you. The big capacity supercars will try and chase you down but with just 1425kg, this Lotus will pull away as long as you have the wits to take it further.
After 2 days of wet weather in Klang Valley, it makes us wonder how much further Lotus can go. It will do the 0-100km/h run in just 4.2 (Porsche Cayman GT4 in 4.4seconds) seconds and hit 280km/h (Cayman GT4 295km/h) when the law is asleep…….which is often. There is 400bhp and 400Nm (Cayman GT4 has 385bhp ready with 420Nm of torque) on tap when you find an open track to work the 6-speed. We do not need to remind you of how exclusive a Lotus is to drive around when it comes to street cred.
Test drive like it should be test driven and you will see little reason to ignore it with a sticker price of RM595,999.00 (Porsche Cayman GT4 at RM840,000 full loaded) with all the necessary luxury appointments and options included.
Also….btw…..there is a very decent radio/CD system…..but with the exhaust noise from the rear, the radio will seldom be appreciated.
Lotus Evora 400 Specification
Engine: V6-cylinder DOHC 24-valve dual VVT-I Edelbrock Supercharger
Max power: 400hp @ 7000rpm
Max torque: 400Nm @ 4500rpm
Transmission: 6-speed semi-auto
Top speed: 280km/h