When this latest press release for the Evora appeared in my notifications I rolled my eyes. ‘Yet another Evora’, I thought to myself as I clicked it open and began to read.
The Evora has never been my favourite Lotus. I always preferred the Exige or the Elise, because they were the physical embodiment of the Lotus ethos. Light weight, bare, hardcore – a B road destroyer.
Another Evora doesn’t excite me. It’s always been the comfortable option, and therefore the option that doesn’t fit my criteria of what the British marque should be. Although as I start to read, I start to feel a slight yearning for this GT430.
Why? Well for starters the ‘GT’ part of the name reminds me of the Esprit. The 430 bit? Well that’s the horsepower, meaning this is not only the most powerful Evora yet, but the most powerful road-going Lotus ever built.
It’s 3.5-litre V6 has been teased and it’s charge cooled to push out 20 more horses than previously, and 325 lb ft. Delivered to the rear wheels through a six speed manual, it reaches 60 in 3.7 seconds and will carry on to 190mph.
Now, while more power is all well and good, it’s not so important on a car like a Lotus. Even less important on the Evora, where its limiting factor is of course its weight.
Lotus has gone to great depths in reducing the weight of this latest sports car. They’ve given it a titanium exhaust, carbon body panels, lightweight interior parts, Öhlins and Eibach adjustable spring and damper assembly, and lighter rear brake discs. They’ve even gone as far as to thinning the aluminium undertray and using lightweight aluminium brackets. All these changes and more contribute towards a weight saving of 26kg.
This is after the addition of wider wheels and tyres, a rear wing, and a front splitter which adds 250kg of downforce at 190 mph. Its aerodynamics are also improved by the two enlarged carbon fibre ducts with integrated air blades towards the front of the car which reduce lift and manage airflow around the car.
This recipe produces a track time faster than any other Evora around Lotus’ test track, Hethel, at 1:25.8. That’s as quick as the track devoted 3-Eleven.
I can’t help but feel however, that this is a placeholder for Lotus until the Chinese take over. No, I’m not spouting conspiracies, the Chinese company Geely are going to be implementing their new ideas later this year, so I doubt there will be any additional variants until then.
This, matched with its staggering performance, is why I want one. It’s just a shame that I’ll probably never be able to drive one. Looks like I’ll have to stick with the Elise and Exige for a bit longer.
The Lotus Evora GT430 is available to order now at a price of £112,500.