The 2016 Evora 400 has just become the fastest Lotus on the brand’s Hethel test track, the British company announced today, claiming the new sports car bested the benchmark of its predecessor by no fewer than six seconds. Driven by Gavan Kershaw, technical manager for Lotus Motorsport, the Evora 400 lapped the course in 1:32, compared to the Evora S’ time of 1:38. Lotus says Kershaw used a "standard road specification prototype running on road tires and with standard road suspension." However, the British company doesn’t explain what "prototype" actually means and whether a production unit would be able to obtain the same benchmark.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say Lotus is pulling tricks here, but I’ve seen too many record-setting cars not being able to deliver the same numbers in production-spec form. (I’m looking at you Bugatti Veyron and Nissan GT-R Nismo.)

Anyways, Lotus brags that the six-second improvement is due to the extra 55 horsepower injected into the Evora 400’s engine, the 48.5 pounds shaved off the previous car, and the improved traction from the new limited-slip differential. In all, the six-second lap update seems plausible.

"Internally, we all knew that the Evora 400 would be capable of exceeding expectations. Our initial pre-production tests provided immense confidence and a six seconds lap time advantage at Hethel. Our commitment to reducing weight to create a lightweight and efficient supercar has paid off," said Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Evora 400.

Why it matters

Granted, this is no Nurburgring record and it won’t get many enthusiasts excited about the Evora 400’s track abilities, but it does prove the new sports car performs significantly better than its predecessor. Lotus needs to up the ante in just about every department to stay afloat, and it seems as the Evora 400 is a solid step in that direction.

Lotus Evora 400

2016 Lotus Evora 400 High Resolution Exterior
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Launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the Evora 400 is the most extensive update the nameplate has received since its introduction in 2009. Upgrades include a more aggressive front end, a revised rear fascia, and improved aerodynamics and downforce. On the inside, Lotus focused on making it easier to get in and out of the car, while also redesigning the dashboard and adding new tech. The Evora 400 kept the S’ drivetrain, but output was increased by 55 horses and 7 pound-feet to 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of twist. This extra oomph gets the Evora 400 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 186 mph, which is a 0.3-second reduction in acceleration time and an 8-mph increase in top speed compared to the previous model.

Find out more about the Evora 400 in our detailed review here.

Press Release

Having stated that the new Evora 400 supercar would exceed expectations, Lotus has now validated the claim. Early tests, carried out by Gavan Kershaw, Technical Manager for Lotus Motorsport, allowed Lotus to boast of a six seconds per lap advantage at Hethel. This validation drive of a standard road specification prototype Evora 400, running on road tyres and with standard road suspension supports the initial claim.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc stated: “Internally, we all knew that the Evora 400 would be capable of exceeding expectations. Our initial pre-production tests provided immense confidence and a SIX seconds lap time advantage at Hethel. The previous best time achieved in the Evora S model was 1 minute 38 seconds; the new lap time set by Gavan is 1 minute 32 seconds.

“Our commitment to reducing weight to create a lightweight and efficient supercar has paid off. The extra 55 hp in conjunction with the 22 kg weight reduction and the tremendous traction from the Limited Slip Differential (LSD) lead to benchmark handling. We are delighted that our customers will soon feel the benefits, when the first examples are delivered in August of this year.”

The new Lotus Evora 400 is the latest pure and focused supercar from Lotus, combining high performance with the legendary Lotus signature benchmark handling. It is faster and dynamically more capable than the previous Lotus Evora leading to greater agility and a more involving drive.

Maximum speed is 186 mph (300 km/h) and acceleration 0-60 mph is just 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds). Over two thirds of the Lotus Evora 400 is new, including its supercharged and charge-cooled mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 410 Nm of torque. A new aluminium chassis incorporates a new interior and the lightweight composite body has changed significantly both front and rear.

The new Evora 400, which was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March will enter production for European markets in the summer and deliveries will commence in August this year. North American markets will receive the Evora 400 as a 2016 model year presentation in the Autumn, with China markets taking first deliveries in early 2016.

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