Let loose in Chicago last week, I briefly spent some time turn heads on the Magnificent Mile before rocketing up Lake Shore Drive in the fastest Lotus road car ever, the 2017 Lotus Evora 400. The new Lotus Evora 400 is the latest supercar from Lotus, and it deserves to be called just that as this car is super. Although it’s got a strong resemblance to the old Evora S, this car is the next generation and something for Lotus to build on going forward.
Lotus Evora 400
2017 Lotus Evora 400
A new aluminum chassis with a new interior and the lightweight composite body, the look has changed significantly on both ends of the car, and the Lotus Evora 400 has a supercar look all it’s own. You simply won’t mistake it for anything else on the road.
Lotus Regional Sales Manager, Joe Renner, told me that over two thirds of the Evora 400 is new, including its supercharged and charge-cooled mid- mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine. Now producing 400 horsepower and gobs more torque, the power increase of 55 hp comes from supercharger enhancements, a new charge-cooler, and engine management upgrades. All that horsepower translates to 0-6 in 4.1 seconds and a 186 MPH top end, and with the manual transmission manages 16 MPG city and 24 MPG on the road.
Lotus Evora 400 Driver’s View
Short Throw 6-Speed
Say what you will about paddles shifting faster than by hand, purists like me are always going to reach for a stick, and I’m glad I did.
Out on the road the short-throw gearbox is absolutely brilliant to drive with the new low inertia flywheel. Rumor has it the 2017 Lotus Evora 400 is 7 seconds faster than the previous Evora S, around the challenging test track at the Lotus Headquarters in England, and that, my friends, is a lot of seconds.
The Lotus Evora 400 seems to grip the corners well, too, and even in my short stint, it changes directions better than the previous Lotus Evora and is more engaging to drive.
Braking comes from new, more powerful, two-piece, cross-drilled and ventilated brake discs, 14.5 x 1.12 in front and 13.8 x 1.12 in the rear and from speed, they feel every bit as good as ceramics.
New 20″ Rims
Lightweight forged aluminium wheels, 19” on the front and 20” on the rear, are 7 lbs. lighter than the forged wheels on the previous Evora, and are now surrounded by Michelin Pilot Super Sports.
And the sound…if you remember the older Evora S, the exhaust was nothing to write home about, and you can still be whisper quiet in the comfort setting, but hit the SPORT mode, and the exhaust note turns to a shriek. You will never want to back off the gas in the Lotus Evora 400.
Hand built, this is a car for the discerning few that aren’t satisfied following the crowd. A leap over the Alfa 4C, the Evora 400 is justifiably comparable to the Porsche 718 Cayman.
The Lotus Evora 400 and the Cayman S are about dead even in that 60 MPH sprint though the Porsche is a good deal less headed out the door. But the world is swimming in Porsches of one variant or another and both die hard Lotus fans and those looking for something different will gravitate to the 2017 Lotus Evora 400.
Lotus Evora 400 Dash
Lotus Evora 400 Rear Seats
I didn’t bother to try the radio, but a high-end in-car entertainment system is standard, with the latest, lightweight and slim-line door speakers fitted.
Deliveries of the new Lotus Evora 400 for North American market begins spring of 2017.
Thanks to Rob Mancuso of Mancuso Motorsports for lending me the Lotus Evora 400.
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Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications.
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