Here’s a trick Lotus knows very well. Lightening. Hot on the heels of the fastest Elise ever, the new Lotus Evora Sport 410 is the Evora 400 put through a weight loss programme to shed a massive 70 kg. Hethel’s flagship sports car now weighs just 1,325 kg (manual, auto 1,337 kg) for an impressive 309 hp/tonne.
Lotus says that the Evora 400 has been thoroughly re-evaluated, with every component assessed, optimised and reengineered as required. This covers every aspect, including a “drastically simplified” carbon fibre tailgate (combining five separate elements into one), new door trim panels and the liberal addition of carbon fibre across the car.
The black stuff can be found on the front splitter, roof panel, tailgate, and rear diffuser as well as race-derived sports seats and a revised front access panel. The one-piece carbon tailgate incorporates a louvered section, inspired by some of Lotus’ famous heritage models, and together with carbon rear quarter-light panels help provide the car with a sleeker, fastback-style trailing roofline. These changes have improved the car’s aerodynamic downforce by 15% with no increase in drag.
The car’s reduced weight has allowed the recalibration of the suspension, with improved geometry and completely revised damping, as well as a 5 mm lower ride height. As a result, handling is sharper, along with better body and roll control, yet ride comfort and composure is retained, Lotus says. Ten-spoke forged aluminium wheels and optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres complete the car’s dynamic revisions.
The above alone is good enough, but there’s more power, too. The ‘410’ in the name is from the supercharged V6’s 410 hp and 410 Nm of torque, 10 horses more than the Evora 400. The 410 hp 3.5 litre engine was developed through the Lotus 3-Eleven project which has beaten Nurburgring records.
Now the Evora 400 is no slouch, but the 410’s lower weight and higher power (plus the optional Cup tyres) combine for a lap time of 1 minute 28 seconds on Hethel’s test track, a full three seconds faster than the 400. 0-100 km/h is done in 4.1 seconds for the auto and 4.2 seconds for the manual, which features a low inertia flywheel and a Torsen-type limited slip differential. Top speed is 280 km/h for the auto, 300 km/h for the stick.
The Sport 410 also features Lotus’ Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) which, selected via a dashboard switch, provides Sport and Race settings. Proportionally increasing throttle response, lowering traction slip thresholds and removing understeer recognition, it allows enhanced control before the system intervenes.
As standard, the most powerful Evora comes with carbon fibre sports seats trimmed with Alcantara, along with the steering wheel and centre console. An integrated touchscreen entertainment system can also be specified, including iPod and Bluetooth connection. Compared to the 400, the door armrests and stowage pockets have been deleted, the tailgate and fuel filler release buttons have been relocated, and there are no speakers if ICE is not specified.
The Lotus Evora Sport 410 can be personalised through the recently launched Lotus Exclusive programme. It will be limited to a global production run of 150 units per year and will be available in all major markets from June. A specific North American version will be announced later in the year.
GALLERY: Lotus Evora 400 in Malaysia