Inspired by the GT4 racing version, this evolution of Evora GT 430 comes to tickle the sharpest sports. By necessarily respecting the same magic recipe dear to Lotus: more powerful, less heavy and more radical. Long live the circuit trips!
“As our competitors continue to strengthen their model with extra grams, and gradually deprive the driver of a pure driving experience, we are doing the opposite,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Lotus. In fact, the small English brand based in Hethel, near Norwich, north-east London, continues to evolve its Evora. After the 400 , born in 2015, and the Sport 410 , here is the GT 430. And as at Lotus it is necessary for all tastes, this ultimate limited edition is offered in two variants (60 copies of each): a wise body, without stormy aerodynamic appendages, dubbed oddly Sport, and a much more demonstrative GT 430 “all short,” here on test.
On board, it smells good sport. This hand-made GT 430 gives pride of place to premium materials, such as perforated leather, Alcantara, carbon fiber or brushed aluminum – just like the nice little gear lever – even if some plastics or control buttons are less cared. To gain weight, Hethel did not hesitate to remove the multimedia system or air conditioning, which are still available as an option. And if you do not find the specific carbon seats light enough, you can exchange them for fine Sparco racing tubs for around € 5,000.
From the race to the road
Linked to the GT4 racing, this GT 430 has refined its aerodynamics: front and rear shields reworked to optimize the flow of air, vents on the front fenders, new extractor and oversized rear wing. The aerodynamic support generated would be 250 kg at the maximum speed of 305 km / h, against only 100 kg for the “normal” 430. At the same time, the weight was reduced by 26 kg (36 kg for his sister, private wing) compared to the last Evora 410 Sport. Normal, the carbon fiber was invited everywhere (shield blades, spoiler, diffuser, bonnet, roof), while the exhaust line is made of titanium.The ground connections were not left aside, in addition to the adoption of ultra-light specific rims, the arrival of no less powerful shock absorbers Öhlins TTX, from the GT4, (adjustable on 20 positions in compression and relaxation ) as well as AP Racing lightweight braking elements. So serious.
With 1,299 kg in running order, this lotus is no longer a ballerina, but advance a weight / performance ratio interesting and 200 kg less than the 500 hp 911 GT3 . In fact, not content to become the most powerful Lotus Road, the GT430 has held some time the best time on the home test circuit. So I fear the worst – especially for my lumbar! – by “falling” in the narrow cockpit of this red tandem that seems to come straight out of a paddock. Confirmed impression by pressing the “start engine” button that wakes the cavalry in a thunderous din. No doubt, the day will be sport!
Seeking a pilot …
Yet, on the small road that leads us to the “playground” Lotus, the 430 proves that she still managed to preserve a tad of civility. Between the “short stroke” damping firm but not uncomfortable, the steering with soft hydraulic assistance at low speed, precise and communicative, and the docility of the compressed V6 3.5 made in Toyota, one can consider a long road course without fearing the consultation in emergency at his physiotherapist. Nevertheless, it is on track that this 430 expresses itself best and delivers all its flavor.
Failing to be as strong as her sisters Elise and Exige , this 430 has surprised us with its agility on the very technical circuit of Lotus. With its pistiel chassis, its ground-level links, its ideal weight distribution thanks to the V6 lurking in your back in the center position, its braking above all suspicion and its powerful Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires, this “GT” shows a formidable efficiency. Especially since the 436 hp compressed have the tone to resell , while the 440 Nm of torque from 2,600 rpm can be removed from a pin like a cannonball.
The eardrums at the party
Not to mention that the Japanese V6 is as much a treat for the eardrums, through the melodious titanium exhaust, as for the sensations delivered as soon as the bar of 4 800rpm crossed, and up to the maximum speed of 7 000 tr / min. min. With four driving modes (Drive, Sport, Race and Off) and traction control with 6 levels of skating, this 430 can satisfy all “pilot” styles, from the least aggressive to the most reckless. It can even disable everything if it wants to infuse a maximum dose of adrenaline, with only partner the rear differential limited slip. But then we must be satisfied with a manual gearbox sometimes imprecise and lacking speed in sports driving.This is the only pitfall … with the price, because at more than 150 000 €, this Evora comes to meet the stars, such as the talented Porsche 911 GT3. Still, this Lotus keeps for her the originality of a manufactured product and the charm of the very small series.