Times are tough at Lotus but the British manufacturer is putting up a good fight with the unveiling of the Evora 400, ahead of its public reveal at the Geneva Motor Show.
The new Evora has a 400bhp supercharged 3.5-litre V6, giving it 55 ponies than the standard Evora and 302lb/ft of torque. You can thank a new supercharger, charge cooler, engine management and exhaust for the increase.
Lotus has, meanwhile, reduced the weight of the 35mm longer Evora 400 by 22kg, bringing the total down to 1,415kg – as heavy as a Porsche Cayman. Part of that is down to lightweight forged aluminium alloy wheels.
It is no wonder, then, 0 to 62mph takes just 4.1 seconds, while the top speed is 186mph, making the new Evora faster than any Lotus road-going before it. Even a lap of the 2.2-mile Lotus Hethel test track in Norfolk is dispatched six seconds faster than its predecessor.
The looks are there for more than just appreciating nods. Lotus says the triple-element rear wing, composite rear diffuser and flat underside of the car add 32kg of downforce at 150mph. Okay, so the new integrated daytime running lights are just there to look awesome.
Getting in and out of the car should be a bit easier as Lotus has made the sills 43mm narrower and 56mm lower, although you will still probably look like a plank until you nail down your preferred technique.
An automatic gearbox is being offered alongside a six-speed manual, which will be painful news to Lotus purists. Less of an issue are the optional rear seats, which turn the Evora 400 into an infinitely more usable 2+2.
The new Evora is slightly more efficient. It spews out 225g/km with the manual gearbox and 220g/km with the automatic. No word on fuel economy, just yet.
Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said: “The Evora 400 is the fastest road-going Lotus that we have ever produced, possessing performance that can only be matched by cars costing significantly more. It delivers supercar looks allied to supercar performance.”
Although a price is unknown, we expect it to cost around £65,000, making it a direct rival for the aforementioned Porsche Cayman GT4. That’s a tough fight, but if Lotus does one thing well, it’s make track-ready cars that handle exceptionally well. But is that enough?