2017 Lotus Evora 400

2017 Lotus Evora 400 Coupe Review

The 2017 Lotus Evora 400.
author
by Jason Kavanagh
Edmunds Editor

When Lotus stopped selling the Evora in the United States after the 2014 model year, it was fair to wonder if or when the company would again be selling road-going cars. Well, now we have an answer. The 2017 Evora 400 reveals that there's life to the Lotus brand after all, with the automaker claiming that this is the fastest Lotus yet produced.

The Evora 400's supercharged, Toyota-sourced V6 gains a water-to-air intercooler, bumping output to 400 horsepower (hence the "400" in its model name). The all-aluminum structure has been massaged for more stiffness, less mass and easier entry. There's new bodywork that loses some stylistic elegance but substantially reduces aerodynamic lift at high speed.

You can be sure that the Evora 400 is precise, fast and rewarding to drive, yet is more well-rounded than the old Lotus Elise and Exige. This is the Lotus for grown-ups. Lotus, however, is still a tiny company and doesn't have the financial wherewithal to offer the Evora 400 in a vast variety of configurations. To wit, you won't find a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, adaptive dampers or rear-wheel steering in an Evora 400.

While the Evora was undergoing its metamorphosis into the Evora 400, the competition continued to evolve, too. Lotus' German rivals are building sophisticated and awe-inspiring sports cars that make extremely compelling cases for themselves by any objective assessment. For some people, though, only a Lotus will do.



what's new

After a two-year hiatus, the Lotus Evora returns for 2017 as the extensively reworked Evora 400. Its chassis is stiffer, it's easier to get into and out of, and the V6 engine is more powerful.

we recommend

Things are pretty straightforward in Lotus-land when it comes to selecting a 2017 Evora 400. The big decisions center around color and interior trim. Go for a rich color like Racing Green or Metallic Blue since the brighter colors make the Evora appear too toylike. All three of the cabin treatments are attractive, and it (nearly) goes without saying that we gravitate toward the manual gearbox. Opt for cruise control and the Black Pack, but skip the carbon-fiber bits, titanium exhaust and lithium-ion battery, all of which shave a relatively tiny amount of weight for an eye-watering price.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Lotus Evora 400 is available in a single trim level that in the reality of 2017 is fairly spartan but by Lotus standards is positively replete with features. Standard equipment includes a backup camera, rear parking alerts, heated seats, navigation and a four-speaker audio system. It's already a pretty specialized car, though there is a degree of customization available — paint color, wheel color, your choice of three interior treatments and the option of blacked-out exterior elements.

All Evora 400 models are equipped with a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 (400 hp, 302 lb-ft of torque) and come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional, but you lose the Torsen limited-slip differential and a little bit of your soul in the bargain. Other stand-alone options include forged wheels, cruise control, deleted backseats, premium audio, deleted air-conditioning, a titanium exhaust, a lightweight lithium-ion battery and power seats. A Carbon Pack swaps out some of the exterior trim with carbon-fiber replacements, saving some 11 pounds.

trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of this vehicle, but we have limited experience with an earlier model. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

driving

We expect the revised V6 to provide robust acceleration even from low revs. Previous Evoras offered adroit steering and handling, plus very strong brakes.

comfort

The cozy cabin has snug and supportive front seats. The ride is fairly compliant given the car's capability.

interior

The front wheelwell intrudes on foot space, which can be awkward for some drivers. The rear seats are almost useless for transporting humans, and rear visibility is very poor.

utility

Its cargo hold isn't vast, but at least it is shaped to be as useful as possible — wide, deep and rectangular-ish.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.