Tai­lored Swift

The new Lo­tus Evora 400 is lighter, f aster and looks bet ter than ever be­fore.

HILuxury - - MOTORS - by ED KEM­PER

COLIN CHAP­MAN, THE FOUNDER OF LO­TUS CARS, HAD A CAR CRE­ATION FO­CUS UN­LIKE MANY OTHER CAR BUILDERS. He was pri­mar­ily in­ter­ested in build­ing light­weight, good han­dling race­cars. That same ap­proach car­ried over to his many pro­duc­tion sports cars. Lux­ury fea­tures and lots of room were se­condary con­sid­er­a­tions. But his mul­ti­ple For­mula One cham­pi­onships and In­di­anapo­lis 500 wins with his race­cars re­in­forced his pro­duc­tion car de­sign phi­los­o­phy.

But with the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Evora 400, the ba­sic de­sign look and han­dling ap­proach re­mains, but with a recog­ni­tion that com­fort i s also


im­por­tant. No ques­tion the ex­te­rior de­sign is a stand­out— low, sweep­ing lines all nicely in­te­grated with a l arge spoiler on the back end. Up­front, the hood goes down­ward with three open­ings be­low the l arge, cov­ered head­lights. With its rear mounted side­ways, along­side with its en­gine and trans­mis­sion pack­age, the over­all l en­gth re­mains short.

And speak­ing of power, there i s plenty to go around with this light­weight pack­age. Lo­tus es­sen­tially uses alu­minum in the chas­sis and any­where else it can to achieve a high power- to- weight ra­tio. A su­per­charged 3.5- lit er V- 6 pro­duc­ing 400 horse­power pro­vides plenty of thrust. And in some­what of a shock, but a con­ces­sion to the mar­ket, be­sides the clas­sic 6- speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, an op­tional 6- speed au­to­matic i s avail­able. With that combo, the 0- 60 time is a quick 4.1 sec­onds with a top speed of 172 mhp with the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and 186 mph with the stick shift. With its l arge wheel and tire combo and fully in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion han­dling still stays supreme. Sur­pris­ingly, the ride over bumpy or pot­hole- filled roads i s rea­son­ably ab­sorb­ing and com­fort­able.

But the real shift in ap­proach i s found in­side. Un­like many of its Lo­tus pre­de­ces­sors, get­ting in and sit­ting in the high bol­stered seats i s easy. And there is a fair amount of room for even taller peo­ple. A l eather- lined in­te­rior greets the oc­cu­pants. A small, touch video screen i s in the cen­ter of the dash to han­dle stereo, Bluetooth, and other func­tions. Mul­ti­ple clearly marked di­als take care of the au­to­matic cli­mate sys­tem.

Big but­tons be­low the cli­mate di­als l et you punch in the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion park, drive, and re­verse gear choices. But for more con­trol of your des­tiny, pad­dles be­hind the steer­ing wheel can


man­u­ally shift the gears. An­other set of power choices in­cludes set­tings for sport and race, and as one could en­vi­sion, the ride stif fens, the steer­ing tightens, and gears are held longer when these con­trols are ac­ti­vated . Be­sides the ana­log speedome­ter and tachome­ter in the dash pod, there are two small video screens, which can pro­vide data on fuel mileage, tire pres­sures, and other in­for­ma­tion.

And be­lieve it or not, there are two rear seats with shoul­der ha­rasses be­hind the front seats. Ad­mit­tedly, the front seat driver and pas­sen­ger would have to move far for ward to ac­com­mo­date adults or even keiki in that arena. In re­al­ity, the rear seats pro­vide stor­age and lug­gage space since the “trunk” in front i s small.

With this model, the essence of a Lo­tus has been kept with the Evora 400— low slung, high per­for­mance, great han­dling and ex­cel­lent styling. But this time around, the driver and pas­sen­ger can en­joy the ride.

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