Lotus’s promised Evora upgrade is now in the open and, while it’s not the extensive facelift some had expected, it’s got plenty to offer.
Revealed ahead of its Geneva debut, the Evora 400 is the product of a special program that saw a special team tasked with stripping down the regular model in the hunt for every possible means of improvement.
The Evora 400, Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales said today, is “a true supercar for today whose looks and performance can only be matched by cars costing much more”.
Headlining those improvements is a change hinted at in the new model’s name, with power in the Toyota-sourced and Lotus-fettled 3.5 litre supercharged V6 boosted to 400bhp - just over 298kW.
That’s a 16 percent increase over the Evora’s last update, bettered only by the extra-special 330kW GTE model introduced in 2011 as a road-going version of Lotus’s eponymous racer.
The increased power is thanks, in part, to a larger supercharger and intercooler, tweaked engine management and a three-inch exhaust setup with reduced pack pressure at higher speeds.
In all, some 60 percent of the Evora 400’s components, on the outside, in the cabin and under the skin, are new.
There’s aggressive new front and rear styling and aero elements with gaping intakes and vents, an extensively revised interior, and significant changes to the aluminium chassis tub designed to offer easier access.
The Evora 400’s kerb weight is about 22kg lighter than its predecessor, including 6kg lighter bucket seats up front.
A six-speed manual is again available - with a new clutch and lighter flywheel - and the optional six-speed auto gets a faster new shift setup and new column-mounted shift paddles.
Lotus also promises huge improvements to downforce and handling characteristics. In fact, downforce is said to now be double the previous model’s at 240km/h.
All of this comes together to give the Evora 400 a 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds, and Lotus says it can lap the Hethel test track a full six seconds quicker than the previous model, matching the 1m32s time of the Exige S.
First deliveries of the Evora 400 in Europe are expected to begin around August.
Speaking with TMR today, Lotus Australia General Manager, Glen Sealey, said that while local timing is still to be confirmed, an early 2016 date is the goal.
Mr Sealey also confirmed that the Evora 400 will be offered as a new flagship above the regular Evora range, rather than as a replacement for the Evora and Evora S models.