RE: Lotus Evora Sport 410: Review

RE: Lotus Evora Sport 410: Review

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Lotus Evora Sport 410: Review

Is the fastest Evora yet worth more than £80,000?



There's an air of confidence around Hethel at the moment. No doubt that sentence has been written a fair few times before in less auspicious circumstances, but the current faith in Lotus is built on more solid foundations. Lotus Cars is back in profit for the first time in decades, the Evora 400 has been received fantastically well in the US and cars like the Sport 410 are being made off the profits.

An Evora with some attitude!
An Evora with some attitude!
Moreover, it's a Lotus special in the finest Hethel tradition. Power is only up 10hp (to 416hp), but this Evora is full of gorgeous details that save precious kilograms; not only that, they give the Sport 410 a real junior supercar look that can go a long way to justifying the price. A point we'll be returning to...

But take the new one-piece carbon bootlid. It replaces the five separate panels used in the Evora 400, saves 12kg and looks absolutely tremendous. Less weight means a strut isn't needed for the boot either. It even affords decent visibility, the view out through carbon slats to the new spoiler and the traffic behind about as exciting as looking down the A140 can be.

The full list of weight saving measures was covered back in February - this about detailing how they come together - but it's worth making a note of a few: the forged wheels save 7kg of unsprung mass (and are unique to the Sport 410), the new bucket seats save 9kg each and there's even 5.5kg of sound insulation taken out. This is Lotus's Speciale, says Jean-Marc Gales, and the weight-saving attention to detail merits that comparison. They've even done the decals instead of badges trick. With the optional (£5,500) Janspeed titanium exhaust dry weight is 1,270kg, or 1,315kg with its fluids and a 90 per cent full tank. Air-con adds back in 8.5kg, the infotainment system 4.3. If you're a big sissy.

You'll definitely want to be here for the noise
You'll definitely want to be here for the noise
Speciale enough?
Enough numbers though - how does the Evora Sport 410 feel as a sports car? Absolutely brilliant, in fact, which begins before the car has moved a metre. It looks like the car the Evora was always meant to be, less fussy than the 400 yet more exotic and more aggressive without being brutish. It feels like a more expensive car inside too, the quality of both the build and materials feeling to have stepped up even just recently. A Porsche PCM system will make the aftermarket Lotus infotainment look low rent (if you have it), but this Evora interior is pretty good.

And, of course, it's truly excellent to drive. So much of what makes the Sport 410 good is recognisable from other Lotus products, but as those traits so rare in fast cars today they're worth repeating. The hydraulic power steering is lovely, feelsome and precise with some added turn-in bite thanks to the standard Michelin Cup 2s. There are no modes, no variable rack or ratio; just well-calibrated steering that's confidence inspiring and a joy to use.

Same goes for the suspension. The dampers are stiffer in compression (25 per cent front, 20 per cent rear), the ride height is five millimetres lower and there are some track focused geo tweaks, but it's just suspension. It doesn't have a track setting, it doesn't need the dampers slackening off in a particular mode and nothing needs to be paired with the heavier steering for your favourite B-road. It just works, and works everywhere.

Gorgeous forged wheels come from Rimstock
Gorgeous forged wheels come from Rimstock
Like a Lotus, just more so
Certainly this must be one of the firmer riding Lotuses, but the Sport 410 hasn't lost that famed ability to smother bumps and it retains genuine compliance. It's a busier, more focused experience, but one that's befitting of a track focused Lotus and certainly not overdone. The prospect of driving to a track, pounding around all day and then cruising home is not one to fear. It's one to relish, in fact.

On the road the Sport 410 is as communicative, involving and adept as we would expect of a Lotus, only with a level of intensity unfamiliar to the Evora. It's eager and urgent, but never edgy or intimidating. That supercharged V6 howls its way to 7,000rpm willingly, the manual gearbox is slick and a world away from the stringy stereotype Lotuses are known for and the brakes are superb. Of course it's quick - certainly that 190mph claim feels realistic - but it's the way that the Evora engages its driver that remains such a big part of its charm.

At the Lotus test track the Evora Sport 410 is said to be three seconds quicker than the standard 400 and a remarkable 13 seconds ahead of the original 280hp car. Arguably it's an even more satisfying package on circuit, its huge grip and traction combined with the tactile controls giving you the confidence to push harder and brake later. It would be worth trying the car on both the Cup 2 and the optional Pilot Sport 4 tyres if possible; Cup 2s are fantastic and perfect for the track day fiend, but for actually exploring a car within reasonable limits something more aggressive might suit. Or PH needs some more talented drivers...

Less interior done just a bit better
Less interior done just a bit better
Good news day
It's hard to come away from the Evora Sport 410 without feeling hugely positive. Its compromise between road and circuit ability feels perfectly judged, its concessions to one never feeling to upset the other. It certainly could have been more track optimised, but then it wouldn't reward on a B-road as much as it does. Make it too habitable and it would be hard to justify over the standard Evora.

No car is perfect though, and this Evora is no different. While this is perhaps the best installation of this powertrain yet, both engine and gearbox don't feel quite as special as in the Porsche equivalents. Yes, even the 911 Carrera turbos. Sorry. They rev a bit more keenly and the manual gearshifts are better. The Lotus auto is much improved but a PDK is still sharper. In isolation the Evora is very good in this regard, the manual gearbox in particular, though room for improvement remains.

Despite looking fantastic and saving valuable weight, the seats proved a little uncomfortable. And, er, perhaps some people might not like the stickers.

Worth £80K? Absolutely!
Worth £80K? Absolutely!
Price point
It really is hard to fault the Evora from the perspective of someone who loves driving. It won't immerse quite like a 3-Eleven or Elise Cup, but then you would be far happier taking this out through Belgium for a Spa weekend. Which brings us to the price again...

Some will see £82,000 for an Evora as a lot, but as a £82,000 driving experience it looks tremendous value and certainly the Evora we would buy. The Sport 410 is 325kg lighter than an F-Type V8 by manufacturer figures, more involving than a 911 Carrera and quicker than an Aston V8 Vantage. Detractors will continue to raise the price, but this is a car so much more about the experience than the numbers.

In fact the most valid comparison for the Sport 410 would appear to be a Porsche Cayman GT4. Sure, it's new against used, but so similar are their mindsets and so numerous are the used GT4s with small mileages that it must be discussed. Prior experience suggests the Porsche possesses a nicer engine and transmission, but the Evora's dynamics would ensure a very even contest. And really the Evora Sport 410 can be paid no higher compliment; hopefully it's a twin-test that can be organised soon.


LOTUS EVORA SPORT 410
Engine
: 3,456cc supercharged V6
Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive (six-speed auto optional)
Power (hp): 416@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 302@3,500rpm
0-62mph: 4.2 seconds (4.1)
Top speed: 190mph (174mph)
Weight: 1,325kg (kerbweight)
MPG: 29.1 (NEDC combined)
Price: £82,000

(Figures in brackets for automatic gearbox; limited-slip diff only standard on the manual also)


 







Author
Discussion

V8 FOU

Original Poster:

2,499 posts

78 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Wow!
Just lovely. Wibble......

Big advantage over a Porsche, is it isn't a Porsche. Has more rarety and cachet.

Well done Lotus. Not that I am biased.......

MDMA .

3,986 posts

32 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
very nice.

looking for 82k now down the back of the sofasmile

CocoPops

404 posts

162 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Really good news, now to convince the rest of the Porsche loving publications... /looking at you Evo!

Guvernator

8,308 posts

96 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
This is a lovely car, it looks like the Evora is finally living up to it's promise, HOWEVER I'll be the first to say it, £82k puts this firmly and squarely into a very competitive price category cough *911* cough and sorry to say it but that is not a price point that Lotus are really geared up to compete in, at least not just yet.

smilo996

1,396 posts

101 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Given the enormous resources that VW Porsche have access to as opposed to the sale of turnips that Lotus have, they have done a brilliant job.

The initial Evora looked oddly proportioned and ugly. The recent tweeks now make it look so much better.

Granted it does not have the same quality of switchgear as the Porka but it seems more than a match in other areas.

Lotus new Boss seems to be doing a great job at getting the absolute maximum out of the capabilities the company has. Just a shame Danny Bahr is not chairman to give the company a real future vision and pazzazz....
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bobo

1,633 posts

209 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
a woeful AIRFIX styling package in this day and age that will be adored by the bling loving Asian (presumably) mkts... errgh ... mind you the latest gen 991 is is a boring as hell to look at but at least its proportionally resolved.

why cant lotus just give us an M250 or a shortened version of that evora chassis (so anyone over 6 ft doesn't have to try and convince/reassure themselves after purchase they actually fit in an exige) preferably with a lowered engine that doesn't sit on stilts and an italian styling package.

what a world beater that would be!

once again they will sell 100 of these and claim success before the next special edition pain job (with plaque) turns up.

talk about kicking the can down the road ! for gods sakes JMG, sell the company and move on !!!!


hughcam

322 posts

96 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
I would sell a kidney for the 410. The only car comparable is the GT4 and even though that is a super special car I think for me this just pips it (I would be more than happy to own either!!).

danp

1,206 posts

193 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Interesting to see getting on for half the UK allocation (129 or did they release more?) of GT4's for sale on PH!


RobM77

31,211 posts

165 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Sounds wonderful smile Those weight savings are pretty significant, and in areas that really matter.

I wonder how the market would receive an Esprit? Could it pick a fight with the lovingly detailed and beautifully made 675LT?....

Tuna

7,858 posts

215 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
bobo said:
a woeful AIRFIX

... yak

.. yak

... for gods sakes JMG, sell the company and move on !!!!
Obvious troll is obvious.

Such a pleasure to see Lotus doing the business. I note the 400 came second in Road & Track Performance Car of the Year - ahead of the Porsche and only beaten by the NSX at twice the price.

WCZ

5,364 posts

125 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
the gt4 is 1340kg so the lotus is just 15kg lighter?

SidewaysSi

4,338 posts

165 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
danp said:
Interesting to see getting on for half the UK allocation (129 or did they release more?) of GT4's for sale on PH!
About 600 GT4s came to the UK. New cars are no longer being supplied I don't think.

I expect used GT4 numbers to fall in the new year.

Tickle

2,696 posts

135 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Fantastic, well done JMG and the folk at Lotus!

Hope the 410 gets the recognition and sales it deserves.

olliete

320 posts

42 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Well done lotus!

13 seconds off the 280bhp track time is fantastic - it looks great inside and out

I'd still have a GT4 though...

Europa1

6,489 posts

119 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
Tuna said:
bobo said:
a woeful AIRFIX

... yak

.. yak

... for gods sakes JMG, sell the company and move on !!!!
Obvious troll is obvious.

Such a pleasure to see Lotus doing the business. I note the 400 came second in Road & Track Performance Car of the Year - ahead of the Porsche and only beaten by the NSX at twice the price.
Yep, I am sure the major automotive OEMs are kicking themselves at having missed getting this guru into their boardrooms...

Ryvita

441 posts

141 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
WCZ said:
the gt4 is 1340kg so the lotus is just 15kg lighter?
Oh OK, yes that's not much is it? Given you want to talk numbers, shall we play Top Trumps? (Caveat - I've done this quickly off PH articles, so if the numbers are wrong I apologise and will cheerfully eat my words. smile)

  • BHP - Lotus wins. 416@7000 vs. 385@7400
  • LbFt - GT4 wins. 310@4750 vs. 302@3500
  • 0-62 - Lotus wins. 4.2 vs. 4.4
  • Top Speed - Lotus wins. 190 vs. 182
  • Weight - Lotus Wins. But only by 15kg apparently? (I found a GT4 EU weight with driver at 1,415Kg)
  • MPG - Lotus wins. 29.1 vs. 27.4
  • CO2 - Lotus wins. 225 vs. 238
...maybe you'd rather go back to comparing soft feel plastics? tongue out

Shnozz

19,566 posts

202 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
smilo996 said:
The initial Evora looked oddly proportioned and ugly. The recent tweeks now make it look so much better.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I think the original looked relatively pretty, more so in the fibreglass than in the pictures. This looks like the original has been ram raided through Ripspeed IMO.

I haven't driven the 410 but have a 400. Not sure really where its taken the car from the S1. Moving from the wonderfully GT comfort Recaros to the pretty firm Sparcos, hardening the suspension etc. I loved the mark 1 as it was both a superb sports car and GT cruiser. The 400 seemed to step closer to sports car than GT - when you have the utterly sublime V6 Exige already "winning" in that category. The balance between comfort and sportiness was exemplified by the original car and I am not sure I would take a 400 over a komotec'ed Evora S. Add to that the looks...

Whatever they have managed to do with that exhaust though....wow. The fact it is switchable is a nice GT style addition too.

I really would love to see Lotus succeed and pleased this is loved stateside. However, personally, the 400 only served to highlight how good the (rather underrated) series 1 was.

anniesdad

13,260 posts

169 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
danp said:
Interesting to see getting on for half the UK allocation (129 or did they release more?) of GT4's for sale on PH!
About 600 GT4s came to the UK. New cars are no longer being supplied I don't think.

I expect used GT4 numbers to fall in the new year.
Absolutely. A buyers market for the GT4 now, these prices will continue to go south for a while now.

However this article is about the Evora 410 and I have to say it looks and sounds fantastic. Having owned an original Evora (non-S) with IPS gearbox I've lived with the cars shortcomings but it was always special to look at and always steered fantastically well. I was put off a manual as the gearlever seemed almost flexible to me and just wasn't nice to use but the IPS had it's issues as well. It's great to read that the original cars failings appear to have been addressed by this car and I do love the looks. Whilst the manual shift may not be quite as good as the 6 speed manual in the Porsche I don't see that as being a major issue as frankly nobody else's shift is as good as the Porsche's either. Porsche really do make the nicest (manual) boxes in the world. Having owned and run a few Porsche's and Lotus's over the years covering over a 100,000 miles between them I can tell anybody that may be interested that I've had no issues with the Toyota sourced engines but quite a few with the Porsche units.

This car reads as a solid 8.5/9 out of 10. Congratulations Lotus on producing what sounds like a fantastic car. thumbup

I too am rummaging down the sofa when I get home. smile

Learn2MergeInTurn

2,363 posts

23 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
MDMA . said:
very nice.

looking for 82k now down the back of the sofasmile
Currently doing the same!

DPSFleet

191 posts

92 months

Tuesday 1st November 2016
quotequote all
It will better value in 3 years time..........................