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Evora 400 Reviews & Videos


DaveC72

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Autocar

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/britains-best-drivers-car-2015-lotus-evora-400-mazda-mx-5-20-sport-and-mercedes

Britain's best driver's car 2015: Lotus Evora 400, Mazda MX-5 2.0 Sport and Mercedes-AMG C63 S
 

... Which is about the last thing that can be said of the performance of the Evora 400. Given that Lotus changed two-thirds of the Evora’s components to make, as the saying goes, the car it should have been from the start, we’d wager sixth equal with a Mazda costing a third of the money is not news that Lotus will want to hear.

Then again, trying to grasp where the Evora fell short is like trying to juggle water: the evidence you need just slips through your fingers. The trite explanation is that the standard has never been higher, and although the Evora has taken a big step forward, those that beat it here have strapped on the seven-league boots and taken a giant leap. And there is much truth in that. But for the full picture, we need to take a closer look.

Our comments are peppered with positives. It’s “practically stress-free”, according to Cackett, “fairly playful” in Prior’s book and “a good Lotus” in my notes. What you’ll find harder to find is rafter-raising praise of the kind we’ve heaped upon numerous Lotuses at this event in years gone by. We liked this car, we admired this car, but the truth is we didn’t love it. Saunders spoke for us all when he said: “I desperately wanted to rank it higher.” In the event, no one rated it better than sixth.

It seems that all the Evora has gained in pure pace (thanks to its extra power, firmer suspension and, gasp, a standard limited-slip differential) has been achieved at the price of a little ‘Lotusness’. Its ride is now merely good rather than befuddling. Its steering is as sharp as a razor, but no longer a scalpel. And still it doesn’t change gear as we’d like. We welcome the noise, the traction, the grip and the fact that the Evora finally has the get up and go to challenge its chassis, but against the Porsches, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ariel that beat it, that was enough to bring it close to the top half of the field, but not close enough. ...

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Bear in mind the car mags MO is to promote new cars so the whole line about the standard never being higher is trotted out every year. It's not actually true either. A friend of mine challenged Matt Prior about the Lamborghini Huracan. He simply asked: 'it might be a better car overall but in what way is it a better LAMBORGHINI than a Gallardo?" Prior admitted in the letters page that he made a very good point!

No single car mag has produced a thorough test of electric steering versus hydraulic. The move has been forced upon the public almost entirely unchallenged. Same goes for paddleshifts, rear wheel steering, you name it. They are now more interested in mirroring their readers preferences than challenging them. Standards of car journalism has declined dramatically as they fight for survival. I remain very cynical about everything I read now.

Our family car is a Lexus RX400h. I was recently loaned a 2015 version (RX450h) and found in no way was it better. Performance was the same, mpg was if anything worse, the new car is heavier more complex, has an unfathomable driver interface with a ludicrous mouse where our car has a simple, intuitive touch screen. No road test will say the new one is worse than the old one but that is my real-world experience. Mitsubishi made 10 Evolutions of the Lancer. I don't know anyone who think the Evo X is the best. Have you seen the new BMW 7 series 'gesture control'? Preposterous! Wiggling a finger in the air which takes more time and effort than pressing a button! Progress is not linear in the car industry. For one thing SUVs aren't progress they are a clear step back from the estate car in terms of engineering. But car mags can only tell you how great the new X whatever is. Why is Evo not lambasting the rise of the SUVs? 

Make no mistake about the gearchange on the Evora 400 it is very much improved. The steering and ride are still streets ahead of the alternatives.

 

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I've given up on the hopes that Lotus will ever garner much positive press, Pistonheads and a large core of its membership has taken care of that. (On top of write ups like this) It's a relief that this site exists, where the cars are appreciated without us being blinkered to their flaws, being on here adds a lot to the ownership without being full of shit.

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Completely agree Colin. This place is an oasis of calm in a sea of car industry funded hype.

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Here is what drives me nuts.  Take a look at the roster of cars in the Autocar line-up.  There are at least 4 different classes of cars being compared.  Most people would probably hate the GT4 because is it too track focused for most. Ditto for the GT3 RS.  Great cars from what I have read, but kind of like owning a Exige V6 Cup.  You have to be willing to live with the qualities that make for an exemplary track car.  My point is that picking a best car with so many different classes of cars is pointless.  Would have made more sense to pick the best track car you can drive on public streets.  Best GT car, etc

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I thought Evo was unreasonably harsh on the E400. Unreasonable because there was no actual constructive criticism, just vague unintelligible negativity. How did the "reheated dinner" thing make it to the final cut? Didn't someone say "no, that's utter bollocks". As for Nick Trott's nonsense about the engine having 'no soul', engines along with all other inanimate objects don't have them so I can't see that as a reasonable criticism. Especially when it has the most musical exhaust note ever to come out of a Lotus road car. I can accept that V6 falls short in comparison with the higher revving Porsche flat sixes in direct comparison, although I think the new soundtrack takes the fight to them for aural excitement. And I'm not pretending for one moment that it could compare to a Lamborghini V12 but, really, there was a Seat Leon, a Peugeot 208 and a Honda Civic in the test and the Evora gets singled out for lacking some ficticious nebulous concept! It's not like Lotus can go away and put some 'soul' into the engine now is it?

As always I'm tempted by conspiracy theories when it comes to Evo. But leaving that aside, assuming the Porsches just are better than everything else again, I find it very hard to believe that any of them would really rather have a GT4 to the new GT3RS. All very well in theory but when you're handed the keys and allowed to keep one...

 

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The real problem is the lack of bias. The "special" treatment journo's get from the market leaders means there will always be some bias, whether intentional or sub conscious.

Until we get a site/mag that is run by enthusiasts and ONLY ever tests readers cars, so no factory influence at all, this will be an issue.

I'm not naive. I know the chances of this are slim. But until then, we are stuck with what we have.

I came into this world screaming and covered in someone elses blood. I'll probably leave it in the same way. 

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I was disappointed with the evo review and I know I am not a pork fan really but my god I am sick to death of hearing about the bloody gt4....if lotus used 2 pieces of crappy material to open the car they would get slaughtered yet in the pork it's 'race inspired'. 

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The thing that irks me is that the new Boxster Spyder is an even better car against the criteria that won the top place for the GT4. In what way, as a road car, is the GT4 better or more enjoyable than the Boxster Spyder? If you're going against cars for being too fast then it makes more sense to choose an all but identical convertible version which can be enjoyed even more at slower speeds. It's only at very high speeds that the coupe becomes preferred for all of those who are not cabriophobic anyway!

I was actually asked on my youtube channel about what I thought about the Evo verdict by someone who was considering buying an Evora 400. It makes me want to weep that someone could be put off by what some car nerds said in a magazine. Half of them have barely started shaving. All I can do is urge people to drive a 400 for themselves and make up their own mind.

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As for the engine. Most (not all!) Lotus engines have always been based on bigger manufacturers' units. Forget the name, but look at the specs: all alloy V6 24 valve chain-driven 4 cam supercharged and charge-cooled putting out 400bhp and yet as reliable as a Toyota Corolla and almost as cheap to run/service as well. Did the Evo story mention that?

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4 hours ago, Stuno1 said:

What's your YouTube channel chap?

any excuse! ;)

I think it's a great engine, very torque rich, more characterful than something like the Nissan GTR's turbine powerstation (which is brutally effective but very bland sounding as standard) and preferable (for me) over most V8s. The turbocharged flat 6 Porsches don't tend to sound very inspring either. I particularly like the sound and top end rush of the chargecooled 400 version which also sounds immense in the 311. I wonder if there will be any similar comments from Evo about the engine when they drive that? I bet there won't! It's absolutely essential that Lotus use engines known for their reliability and longevity if they are ever to shift their reputation. Of the other engines that Lotus could theoretically use I can't see many better alternatives. Would a Ford V6 be any better? The thing I'd like to see (and hear!) most would be higher revs but I can't see that on offer anywhere else.

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Ecoty and similar reviews don't help as a lot of people put a great deal of stock in such publication. The common themes people will pick up on are its to expensive for what you get, handling had taken a step back from the previous generation, still needs to improve in terms of build quality. Sad but this will mean people probably won't even sit in one. 

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It is really sad as it makes the Evora the brave, left-field choice. Pretty sickening to see GT4s being traded up to £30k over list, Brits trampling over each other to get higher up the ever growing queue to buy one all while a brilliant British designed and built car like the Evora 400 is struggling to find buyers. I'm not saying the competition isn't good or that it doesn't deserve its success. It's only that the difference in public reaction to the two cars is way out of step with the reality of how the two cars compare. In reality they are very close and the Evora does have some genuine advantages, particularly as a road car. As ever with the Evora it deserves to sell much more strongly than it does. The main thing it lacks is whatever people find so alluring about the Porsche badge. As you say many won't even consider an Evora or any Lotus for that matter. Buying an Evora 400 won't impress your mates like a GT4 but surely at somewhere around £20k cheaper than the going rate for a GT4 it's really worth trying? I figure Porsche don't need any help at the moment but Lotus do and they are one of the few companies with the design and engineering talent to really take the fight to Porsche with a bit more support. The Exige 400 is still a way off I fear but it can't come soon enough.

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It was odd that the content of the ECOTY video seemed overtly negative about the Lotus, and unfortunately I do think it could put off some folks from buying if they put a lot of stock in Evo.  The interesting thing if you take a step back though, is the fact that the Evora 400 made it to this competition.  Many other 'sports cars' from well respected manufactures didn't make the cut to be a part of the group.  No BMW, No Jag, no Vette, no Viper, etc.  So its in the top 10 sports cars in the world this year (Top 6 given its finish according to EVO) and having re-watched the video, I think you walk away from watching it feeling like they are down on the car because of the "soulless engine" and "reheated meal" comments which doesn't seem to jive even with their own rankings.  But they do also say that its arguably the best chassis there and that the "actual driving experience is really, really high quality stuff".  Very conflicted review.

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22 minutes ago, The Pits said:

Buying an Evora 400 won't impress your mates like a GT4

Jonny, take heart, this really isn't true. I have seen a few GT4s now and to the man on the street (and me to be honest), they look like a pimped up Cayman.

I have shown photos of my 400 to a few people, plus the response that you get from other drivers and people I drive past, is amazingly positive. "Wow" and "you're joking?! You don't own one of those do you?!?" are very common comments. Awareness is the only issue.

One of my favourite comments was heard during a conversation between two people working in a Costa Coffee drive through (I was feeling lazy). It went like this.

"Whats that?" (Female attendant)

"It's a Lotus" (Male attendant)

"Really? You sure?"

"Yes. It says it on the wheels"

"Wow! That's nice!"

I would be massively surprised if the same conversation would have happened if I had been in a GT4.

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I think that's where the rarity may work against Lotus. I've (in my mk1) been on a few petrol stations where the attendant has said to me "what's that?" and "it looks like a Lotus but I've never seen one like that before"

I'm not sure that the marketing is focussed enough, it seems to be mainly aimed at existing Lotus owners. They need to get the cars into the limelight more. 

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13 hours ago, Gm77 said:

Jonny, take heart, this really isn't true. I have seen a few GT4s now and to the man on the street (and me to be honest), they look like a pimped up Cayman.

I have shown photos of my 400 to a few people, plus the response that you get from other drivers and people I drive past, is amazingly positive. "Wow" and "you're joking?! You don't own one of those do you?!?" are very common comments. Awareness is the only issue.

One of my favourite comments was heard during a conversation between two people working in a Costa Coffee drive through (I was feeling lazy). It went like this.

"Whats that?" (Female attendant)

"It's a Lotus" (Male attendant)

"Really? You sure?"

"Yes. It says it on the wheels"

"Wow! That's nice!"

I would be massively surprised if the same conversation would have happened if I had been in a GT4.

couln´t agree more, the gt 4 is cayman with a huge rear Spoiler in the eye of the public, even if the "internals" might be different.

In Germany a cayman no matter how many horses etc will never have the same Image as the "Übervater" 911

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