Photography by: Robert Isaacs
There are cars meant solely for the daily grind, there are cars meant for gobbling up tracks, but few take the elation of the driving spirit to such an everyday usability as the 2017 Lotus Evora 400. And, trust me when I tell you if you have the money: go order one from Park Place in Bellevue, today.
Driving the 2017 Lotus Evora 400 is magical
While driving the Nissan GT-R gives one the sense of piloting a technological wonder, the 2017 Lotus Evora 400 brings simple driving pleasures. You, the car, and the road in a symbiotic relationship. You aren’t using a leather-trimmed steering wheel, you’re utilizing an extension of your arms that just happens to be round-ish. The aluminum shift knob isn’t just attached to the vehicle, it’s a metallic appendage you weren’t born with, but which has become a part of you anyways.
Shifting the silky manual gearbox slowly through the full RPM range or rapidly progressing through spurts of high-revving fun is a wondrous thing to behold from passenger or driver seat, though, it’s much more fun in the driver’s. The close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission has a gloriously short shift, ensuring that you can have that pleasure of quick-shifts whether pushing it or not.
The engine belts out rapturous notes that will superglue its melody to your heartstrings, pulling and never letting go (I would know, I’ve been dreaming of it since then…). A supercharged and rebuilt 3.5L Toyota 2GRFE V6 engine will tingle your spine from behind your ears as it puts out 400 horsepower around 7,000 rpm, 302-lb.ft. of torque maxing out at 3,500 rpm, sending you on your way with haste.
Zero to 60 in this sleek bullet takes a scant 4.1 seconds, whether you have the 6-speed manual or the 6-speed automatic transmission (go for the manual, please). It has a lightweight, low-inertia flywheel and a Torsen limited slip differential. The suspension is a fully independent, forged-aluminum double wishbone setup with an anti-roll bar, Eibach springs, and Bilstein dampers. ESP drive modes include Drive, Sport, and Race (I bet you know which ones we liked the most).
When you aren’t driving the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive 2017 Lotus Evora 400 as though it can accelerate in 4.1 seconds, it’s comfortable, stylish, and makes an indelible statement.
(Read more below photo gallery…)
The seat comfort is unparalleled. You won’t need a luxury sedan for those long trips as the heated seats keep you planted during the fun bits, but envelope you in the lap of opulence when you’re done. You can have yours covered in standard cloth, leather or Alcantara leather.
It has creature comforts, such as a standard, 4-speaker infotainment system with rear-view camera, Bluetooth connection, and a radio (though why you would listen to a radio when you have the Evora 400’s chorus of cylinders behind you is beyond me…). One handy feature of the infotainment system is standard satellite navigation, so you can go wherever the road takes you and still be able to find your way home.
And, when you’re done having fun, it’s tame. A simple-looking button mellows the soprano whir to a low purr, enabling you to drive through down the street without eliciting glares for the ‘noise disturbance’ or for those longer trips during which you don’t need those sublime sounds for the entire 4-hour drive (you know, the last hour or so… maybe).
I’m also betting that, when you’re done with that 4-hour drive, you’ll be eager to get back in and go for more. That’s just how satisfying these seats are, seriously.
But, the entire 2017 Lotus Evora 400 is seriously satisfying
The exterior looks like it was sculpted by Hellenic Roman artisans with a penchant for carbon fiber and fast things; a work of art, not a purpose-built machine. A large main grille allows for maximum air flow into the engine while large front vents allow air to flow toward the brakes. The yellow and gold logo rests comfortably on the hood, centered between two LED headlights.
Strong yet curvaceous body lines flow across the vented hood and around to well-developed rear end, or as my photographer put it “Dat Ass”. Indeed. Those rounded tail lights accentuate the space-age spoiler. Lotus stamped their name across the wide brim, allowing easy access to an honest-to-God trunk that could even hold a golf club set (but not two).
A single exhaust tip is centered in the rear diffuser. Lotus didn’t just style the Evora 400 for good looks, it also optimized the downforce for road use and zero lift, peaking at 71 lbs. of downforce at 150 mph. The curb weight may be a mere 3,138 lbs, but it flies like a peregrine falcon. Precise. Exact. Fast. It tops out at 185 miles per hour (174 mph in the automatic).
While there are plenty of optional packages that can get this vehicle well over the $100K mark, the 2017 Lotus Evora 400 MSRPs for a reasonable $91,900. If I had the income for it, I would have already trotted down to Park Place LTD in Bellevue, the local Lotus retailer, and plunked the required stack of Benjamins on the desk of some unwitting associate. But I don’t, and that makes me sad.
What could make me happy, though, is for some wealthy reader to go purchase one so that we Seattle-area denizens could see one in its native environs: On the home we gearheads call asphalt, leaving seraphic smears on the concrete as the ambrosial V6 powers you down the causeway.
To order your own 2017 Lotus Evora 400, please call or visit Park Place LTD along NE 20th Street in Bellevue.