A Lotus for driving enthusiasts

Lotus Evora Sport 410

This is the Lotus Evora Sport 410 – the “Sport” being to Lotus what “GT3” is to Porsche or “Speciale” is to Ferrari, says James Taylor in Car magazine. In other words, it is a specially souped-up version of the standard model, designed to be “predictably brilliant” to drive, if uncompromising in terms of everyday usability.

On the latter front, that means a pared-back interior, thin bucket seats, minimal interior mod-cons, a much lighter body frame, thanks to liberal use of carbon fibre parts, less sound insulation, no mudflaps, no rear seats and an unyieldingly firm ride. It really is a “bare minimum kind of a car”. But for drivers “prepared to suffer for their art, thrills don’t come much purer”.

It encapsulates everything driving enthusiasts love about Lotus, says Matt Bird in Autocar, all made “tangibly more thrilling but without losing sight of the standard Evora charm”. Even at speeds below 30mph, the car “works its magic”: the steering has fluidity and feedback to shame every assisted system out there, and the new seats “grab in all the right places”. The pedal weights are “spot on”. That only inspires confidence as the speed grows – which it will do rapidly, thanks to its ultra-low weight and the 3.5-litre, V6, supercharged engine.

Sixty miles per hour is passed in just four seconds and the top speed is 190mph. But it is the Lotus’s ability to “flow with a British B-road that is its stand out dynamic quality”. A Porsche 911 may make for a more amenable car for everyday use. But if you value driving above all else, the Lotus is something like a revelation. It is a “glorious” car.

In a world where bog-standard 911s and Audi RS3s can score sub-fours to 60mph, the performance numbers may not “stutter your heartbeat”, says Ollie Kew on TopGear.com. But with 302lb ft of torque “thwacking you in the back” from a sensible 3,500rpm, the car still feels “seriously quick”. And it strikes a happy balance: you can “chase the redline” in second and third and bring the engine “properly on song”, but that won’t have you driving so quickly that “each prod of the gas is a game of Russian roulette with your driving licence”. And the handling is “just sublime”.

True, that ride is “extremely busy” and the lack of soundproofing may prove wearing for everyday use. But that’s not necessarily a criticism. “It’s like taking the black run when you go skiing. It’s harder work, but you know what you’re letting yourself in for.”

Price: £82,000
Engine: 3456cc, V6, supercharged, petrol
Power: 416bhp at 7,000rpm
Torque: 302lb ft at 3,500rpm
Top speed: 190mph
0-60mph: 4.0 seconds