Speed lovers hold tight as after unveiling its fastest road-legal car in history, the 190mph Evora GT430, it’s taking the wraps off the Evora GT430 Sport, which is even faster still.
With a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds and a 196mph (315km/h) top speed, it boasts the same vital statistics as the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
Lotus’s CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, claims that the new model complements the existing GT430 and is intended to offer clients even more choice. “The Evora GT430 already has cemented its place as a true collector’s car, but we know that many of our customers want the option of choosing a less aggressive version, with the same power, but without some of more arresting design and aero elements. With the Evora GT430 Sport, we have responded to this demand,” he said.
However, there’s a catch. Lotus hasn’t tweaked the new car’s engine to hit this new top speed. Both cars use exactly the same 430hp, 450Nm of torque, supercharged V6. Instead, to increase straight-line performance in the GT340 Sport, Lotus has stuck fastidiously to its late founder, Colin Chapman’s philosophy of cutting weight wherever possible to boost speed. And in the case of the new model, those weight-savings have come from ditching its carbon fiber external aerodynamics package.
That cuts 10kg from the car’s overall weight and nudges its power-to-weight ratio up to 345hp per tonne. But the lack of an aero package means that the new car only generates 100kg of downforce when traveling at its top speed, compared with the 250kg of downforce generated by the Evora GT430.
All of which means that at the limit, the new car could feel a little light and even skittish, if traveling in anything other than a straight line.
To really put it into perspective, that 10kg kit enables the GT430 to lap Lotus’s iconic Hethel test track in 1 minute, 25.8 seconds. Despite being a faster car, the GT430 Sport is a full second slower. But while all Lotus cars are derived from the track, not all Lotus owner buy their car for racing purposes. But if they do want to take the car on the circuit, thanks to adjustable Öhlins dampers, a Torsen-type limited slip differential and an adjustable traction control system, plus some serious brakes, this new model should still bring joy.
“This is a car that epitomizes a purity of engineering that many car manufacturers fail to match,” said Gales. “The Evora GT430 range continues [Colin Chapman’s] legacy, combining our expertise in highly efficient engineering and aerodynamics with more power and torque to provide one of the most rounded and rewarding driving experiences on the road or track.”
The Evora GT430 Sport will cost from £104,500 (roughly €140,000), when it goes on sale later this year.