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Geneva show: Lotus Evora 400 checks in

In bloom: The Lotus Evora 400 increases power over the outgoing model by 40kW and can race from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds.

Fastest and most powerful Lotus ever, the Evora 400 set to arrive early next year


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2 Mar 2015

LOTUS has announced that the fastest and most powerful Lotus ever produced – the Evora 400 – will make its debut at the Geneva motor show this week.

The Malaysian-owned British sportscar-maker said in a statement that more than two thirds of the Evora 400 is new, including the supercharged and charge-cooled mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine sitting under the sleek bonnet.

In this guise, the Evora pumps out 298kW, or 400hp – hence the name – at 7000rpm and 410Nm of torque at 3500 to 6500rpm, which helps push the road rocket from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 300km/h.

This represents a 40kW/10Nm boost in power over the 258kW/400Nm regular Evora S and S IPS and a 0.6-second improvement to the 0-100km/h sprint time.

Speaking of sprints, Lotus says the Evora 400 can lap the test track at Lotus headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk in England a full six seconds faster than the previous record holder.

Lotus has cut some of the fat off the already lightweight Evora to improve performance, with 22kg shaved through “careful and clever design and attention to detail”.

This includes engine mounts that are 5.6kg lighter than before, while the Evora 400 has an upgraded rear sub-frame for improved engine control and dynamics.

The car-maker also confirmed that the improvement to engine performance was possible due to tweaks to the supercharger, a new charge-cooler and upgrades to the engine management system.

The Evora 400 also features a revised muffler with a driver-activated switch that allows the exhaust to flow more freely, reducing back pressure and offering a “supercar soundtrack” through the tailpipe that is 76mm wider.

Shift quality has been improved on the six-speed manual gearbox and a Torsen-type limited slip differential is fitted to the rear axle for better traction and a more involving drive, according to Lotus.

The six-speed automatic transmission meanwhile features a new shift strategy, and there are aluminium paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Continuing the lightweight theme, the Evora 400 uses 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged aluminium wheels that are 3.3kg lighter than the previous Evora, and they are now shod with 235/35 front and 285/30 rear tyres.

In terms of styling, the new Evora carries light updates, such as a larger air intakes up front, new daytime running lights, a new rear bumper, rear diffuser and wing and updated door mirrors.

The 2015 Evora 400 is 35mm longer than the previous model but is no wider.

It also gains an updated interior, with the aluminium chassis redesigned to improve entry and egress. The sills are 43mm narrower and 56mm lower on each side compared with the previous Evora.

The cabin also gains new seats, new seat coverings in Alcantara or Scottish leather, a new dashboard layout, a high-end in-car entertainment system, a forged magnesium steering wheel and improvements to the the switchgear and general ergonomics.

Lotus Australia and New Zealand general manager Glen Sealy told GoAuto that the local distributor is “excited” about the hardcore Evora, which will go on sale in Europe in August, with Australia and New Zealand deliveries will start early next year.

Mr Sealy said that it was too early to talk pricing, but that the Evora 400 would be positioned over and above the existing range.

“Pricing has not been confirmed, nor has our allocation for Australasia,” he said. “However it will be a premium price position well over the existing model range.” Current Evora variants start at $130,990, plus on-road costs for the 2+2 and top out at $161,990 for the 3.5 S IPS auto.

Lotus says that to accommodate the expected demand for the Evora 400, overall Lotus production will increase from 45 cars to 70 cars per week by September this year.

Group Lotus chief executive officer Jean-Marc Gales said the improvements to the Evora 400 will ensure it competes with sportscars in the price bracket above it.

“A requirement for all Lotus cars is to be a benchmark for handling, to be the quickest car from A to B and to provide the driver with a pure and involving driving experience,” he 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.”

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