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Review: 2017 Lotus Evora 400

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Mark Holgate is the driving force behind Exhaust Notes Australia, one of this country's premier automotive websites, with in excess of 1 million visits every year, and literally hundreds of car reviews and motoring stories.

With more than 20 years experience as a journalist, and five years as a professional blogger, he brings a wealth of knowledge about cars, bikes and everything in between.

A Lotus you can drive every day, which looks awesome, pedals like a supercar and runs a six-speed automatic gearbox that's as good, if not better, than a manual. Can I get a "hell yeah"?

The car we speak of is the 2017 Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition, a $200,000 weapon that pushes out 298kW of power and 410Nm of torque through a completely redesigned 6-speed push button automatic transmission.

With the Lotus Evora 400, it's about the roar of the engine, noise of the exhaust and the pure driving pleasure.

With the Lotus Evora 400, it's about the roar of the engine, noise of the exhaust and the pure driving pleasure. Picture: Supplied

Under the boot lid of this mid-engine beast is a 3.5 litre Toyota-based V6 engine, and yes it's the same one that you will find in a top-of-the-line Aurion or Tarago. But this V6 has a secret. A thumping, brand new Edelbrock supercharger kind of secret that makes it sound like an angry F1 car.

As a result, it goes like the clappers, rounding out a zero-100 run in 4.2 seconds. The pick up in this 2+2 coupe, especially in sports mode, is nothing short of astounding. In fact, we recommend you don't drive it in normal mode, ever. Because if you like adrenalin-pumping driving, standard drive will feel quite lazy.

But all this speed and power, and sport and track mode, are not the most important things about the Lotus Evora 400. What's more important is that this car has four seats, is easy to get in and out of, has the trim levels you'd equate to a decent sports car, and, wait for it - you could drive it every day.

Yes, you could actually have this as your daily drive, and we suppose you could use standard drive mode for that if you really have to. This car is a joy to drive. It turns heads with its unique styling (perhaps not as many heads as the 2017 Lotus Exige 350 Sport) and is a rare beast as well, with just a dozen or so on the road in Australia.

Let's pause all this driving talk for a moment, though, and get down to the important information about what the car comes with.

To make sure you stop, there are big, two-piece AP Racing four-piston calipers (front and rear) with ventilated and cross-drilled rotors, along with a lightweight low-inertia flywheel, electronic brake distribution, a Lotus-tuned ABS system, and driver-selectable ESP modes, including drive, sport and race.

Lightweight alloy wheels (19-inch front, 20-inch rear) with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres will keep you on the road, while the fully independent forged aluminium double-wishbone suspension with anti-roll bar will keep you steady, and Bilstein high-performance dampers with Eibach coaxial springs will make it bounce right.

Did we mention that the seats, door panels, fascia and centre console are trimmed in red leather? No? Well they are, and the steering wheel is trimmed in black leather, with red leather position stripe.

On the downside, the infotainment system is super aftermarket, but does bring SatNav and a reversing camera. The final finish is good, but not great, across the dash and the layout takes a bit of getting used to. It has also got some seriously stiff competition for the coin, including the F-TYPE Jaguar and Porsche Cayman.

But neither are quite like the Evora 400 and you may have guessed already, it's not about the techy bits or how the dash looks, it's about the roar of the engine, the noise of the exhaust, and the pure driving pleasure that the Lotus brings, as well as its ravishing good looks on the outside.

There's more to owning the Evora 400, though. You see, Lotus Cars Australia has created the Lotus Lifestyle - an owner's club, if you like, to help owners get the most out of their vehicles - that's a bit like a family. The Lotus Lifestyle offers social outings, exclusive events, casual track days, driver tuition, road rallies and even the opportunity for competitive motor sport at various levels.

Lotus Cars Australia has a national dealer network that includes Simply Sports Cars in Sydney, Motorline in Brisbane, Krause Motors in Adelaide, Zagame in Melbourne, and Auto-Strada in Perth.

The 2017 Lotus Evora 400 comes in Solid Red, Solid Yellow, Metallic Silver, Signature Silver, Racing Green, Metallic Grey, Metallic Orange, Metallic White, Metallic Black and Metallic Blue (as tested).

Our 2017 Lotus Exige 350 Sport was provided by Simply Sports Cars in Sydney. To find out more, the Lotus Cars Australia dealer in your state. Images supplied by La Lente Photography.

  • Read more from Exhaust Notes:  Review: 2018 Subaru XV
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