Lotus Evora 400: PH Carpool

Name: James Martin
Car: Lotus Evora 400
Owned since: April 2016
Previously owned: E46 M3, Z4M Coupe, BMW 645i, 996 911 C4, 993 Targa

Why I bought it:
"I found myself in the situation of having more money to spend on a car than ever before, probably a once-in-a-lifetime spend. So I wanted something very memorable. I had always been aware of the Evora, but never seen one that made me go "I must have it". The new 400 just looked so much more aggressive and sounded awesome. I drove a lot of other cars, but none seemed to me the complete package the 400 was."

What I wish I'd known:
"Quite how infectious Lotus can be. Since getting the Evora, I've also acquired an Elise 111R and two Excels - one fairly standard and one project with a 3.9L Rover V8 in it. I've started a YouTube channel (www.jayemm.com) which features the cars, among others, and the feedback I receive indicates that multiple Lotus ownership is a common problem!"

Things I love:
"The noise, the looks, the steering. I also love being a part of the Lotus family. It's basically impossible to pass another Lotus without a friendly wave, nod or if they're parked up having a bit of a chat. I have since gotten to know many people at the factory, or involved with Lotus in some way and I really enjoy the many meets that support us fellow victims of the brand! Despite being similar on-paper to a 911, the reaction it generates when driving it about genuinely is on a par with a Ferrari/Lamborghini etc..."

Things I hate:
"A lot of teething problems. No escaping it. Seat creaks, the gear lever stopped centring itself, paint defects, suspension creaking. All have been resolved, some faster than others. I know some people will say this is because it is a handmade car, that is not an excuse I accept, and it seems to me Lotus do have a continual program of improved quality and the fit/finish of the cars I see generally are of an extremely high standard. No-one at Porsche is going to be kept awake at night by them, but for people unfamiliar with the cars they are usually presently surprised by how nice they are inside."

"It's under warranty, so I haven't had too much to sort. The factory stereo is abysmal, but I found a decent audio fitter who managed to upgrade the stereo to a considerably higher standard and that was just shy of £1,000. On a gentle run, the MPG is over 30, on track a lot less. I've emptied the 60L tank in 130 miles, but that's still not bad I think. Servicing is pretty reasonable and another area to be thankful for the Toyota drivetrain. I saw recently the Elise was the slowest depreciating car in Britain and I hope the Evora isn't far behind as its the only car I have ever bought new!"

Where I've been:
"I've covered 13,000 miles in a year, she's been back to the factory multiple times - both for business and pleasure! Generally, it has just been enjoyed on the back roads of East Anglia, although I certainly do want to do a long trip in it sometime."

What next?
"I have no idea. Ignoring the fact I won't have this kind of budget for future cars, I don't know what could really improve upon this car. I've driven a McLaren 650S and it was awesome - but it's nearly triple the price and there are things the Evora does better. I love the sound and the manual gearbox in the Evora and I think we need to enjoy those while they're still here. Performance cars and manuals have nearly parted ways now it seems and turbos have taken over. Exhaust noise legislation is getting tougher so I'm going to just enjoy this car while I can."

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Comments (24) Join the discussion on the forum

  • swissphil 22 May 2017

    I know exactly what you mean in terms of Lotus ownership! It's more like a family :-)

  • DPSFleet 22 May 2017

    Yes LOTUS is a very additive brand because you love them and hate them too! I have owned them on and off for 45 years and still want another, trouble is I am getting too old to get in them now! An Evora though.......??? Nice article.

  • Iamnotkloot 22 May 2017

    Lovely car, I can see how these turn more heads than 'normal' supercars.

  • HeMightBeBanned 22 May 2017

    I've driven the '400' a few times, as a friend had one. It's a stunningly good car to drive - sublime ride, handling and steering. The gear change is easily the best I've ever used in a mid-engined Lotus (I have an Elise and a 340R, and have driven lots of others). Sadly, he ended up rejecting the car because of persistent quality issues. A real shame, as it's got to be one of the best cars for people who like the process of driving.

  • tosh.brice 22 May 2017

    Top picture against the rusty blue door for PotW, please!

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