Following the successful introduction of the Lotus Evora 400 and Evora Sport 410 to global markets, Lotus has unveiled its most powerful road-going model ever – the Evora GT430.
Claiming ‘a pure combination of elegance and power’, Lotus has lavished attention on hand-crafted carbon-fibre components to endow the Evora with “a level of precision engineering and design unseen before”.
Powered by a new development of the 3.5-litre V6 supercharged and charge cooled engine producing 430 hp, and benefitting from a significant hike in downforce, the Evora GT430 is underpinned by the company’s acknowledged eminence in lightweight engineering, and at a new benchmark weight of 1,258 kg (dry), it is the manufacturer’s most powerful road car to date.
Just 60 editions will be hand built in Norfolk, England, and judging by the popularity of Lotus’ recent limited run editions, it’s already in line to be a collector’s car.
Marking the return of a famous Lotus badge, and acknowledging the Esprit V8 GT and GT3 from the 1990s, this two-seater accelerates from 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h).
New specially designed body panels feature exposed carbon weave sections at front and rear, and the advanced aerodynamics generate up to 250 kg of downforce. Larger front apertures, a new carbon fibre splitter, air blades and louvers positioned on top of each front wheel arch illustrate the supercar credentials when viewed head on, while at the rear, aero ducts behind each wheel reduce pressure in the wheel arch and a large rear diffuser provides a sharp visual finish.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said: “The Evora GT430 is a landmark car for Lotus. Lightweight engineering and class-leading handling, paired with Lotus’ aerodynamic expertise, define the Evora GT430 as a legendary Lotus. It’s a truly beautiful car, meticulously finished in hand-crafted carbon, and employing the latest aerodynamics and lightweight materials. This highly developed vehicle perfectly reflects Lotus’ attention to engineering and design. We expect the lucky owners to be blown away by its pure presence and staggering performance.”
Every component has been evaluated to ensure that the car retains only the items essential for performance.
Lotus says the new Evora “takes dynamic performance to the next level”. Damping is provided by Lotus-tuned, Öhlins TTX two-way adjustable units, with 20 click-adjustment compression and rebound settings as well as saving 10kg in mass compared to the Evora Sport 410 set-up.
New, ultra-lightweight, low-sideload Eibach springs provide an increase in spring rate and the car’s handling is improved further through the use of front and rear anti-roll bars.
The car can lap the famous Hethel test track in 1 minute 25.8 seconds – a record for an Evora. As fast as the famed Lotus 3-Eleven road car on the same circuit, the GT430’s performance ‘envelope’ is derived from a combination of clever aero and dynamic developments as well as outright power. As a result, the car is a manifest of Colin Chapman’s visionary quote: “Adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.”
A good example of this, says Lotus, is “the removal of critical weight from beyond the front and rear axles of the Evora GT430, reducing the car’s polar moment of inertia, resulting in improved transient response, overall agility and driver feedback”.
The car’s reconfigured engine produces 430 hp (436 PS) at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,500 rpm. The increase in torque is facilitated through the introduction of an air-to-liquid gearbox cooler as standard, a feature which made its debut on the recently launched North American Evora 400.
Another standard item is the titanium exhaust, which cuts 10 kg from beyond the car’s rear axle and amplifies its aural presence.
The standard six-speed manual gearbox features a low-inertia, single-mass flywheel, to ensure swift changes, while a Torsen-type limited slip differential (LSD) gives better traction and faster exit speeds when cornering.
Aerodynamic revisions introduce bodywork elements that boost the downforce up to 250 kg at maximum speed by focusing on the management of airflow over, under and around the car, allowing for higher cornering g-force and providing enhanced high-speed stability.
A new carbon fibre front splitter separates and speeds airflow under the car, and the two enlarged carbon fibre front ducts move air through to the front wheel cavities to help reduce the turbulence and drag created by the wheels themselves.
The rear has deep, sculpted ducts behind each wheel that vent the airflow as quickly as possible from the wheel arches, improving downforce. Dominating all of this is the large, high mounted aerodynamic motorsport carbon wing.
To harness the increased downforce and power, mechanical grip is provided by 10 mm wider Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres on one inch wider ultra-lightweight forged aluminium wheels in either black or silver, with optional finishes available in gloss red or a gloss black machined rim design.
Dynamic stability modes (with ‘Drive‘, ‘Sport’, ‘Race’ and ‘Off’ settings) can be selected, which allow the driver enhanced vehicle control before the system intervenes. The car also includes a newly developed variable traction control function, linked directly to the ECU, which allows the amount of wheel slip to be set by the driver whilst in ‘Race / Off’ setting, with five pre-set traction levels displayed via the instrument cluster.
A fast car requires substantial stopping power, and the Evora GT430 uses two-piece J-grooved and ventilated brake discs at the front, paired with AP Racing four-piston calipers all round, while the rear uses three-piece discs with lightweight aluminium centres.
“Lotus is famous for using its technical expertise to develop the lightest engineering solutions,” says Jean-Marc Gales. “Yes, it is hugely powerful but, the GT430 is not about brutal performance. It’s an intricate balance of power, finesse and road holding, no matter the speed, and is a true track-and-back sports car, supremely focused and immensely fast.”
The external theme of carbon continues into the car’s finely crafted cabin, with handmade components as standard. These include Lotus’ carbon race seats, new carbon door sills and a new lightweight carbon instrument binnacle cover and new graphics on the instrument panel.
An integrated touch-screen infotainment system can be specified, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality, satellite navigation and reversing camera.
The GT430 is available only in two seater configuration and a version for the North American market will follow in spring 2018.