2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

So pure it’s pukka. So real it’s raw. So hard-core it hurts.

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below now to watch video of our 2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 review

The road rises, falls and dips through a twist, straightening briefly before sweeping into a blind curve. The heel-and-toe happens almost naturally, racing revs meet second gear, clutch hooks in, then back on the gas, smack hard the trough, feel the chassis shimmy on the rebound, the front scrabbles for grip, but keep it buried, snatch third fast, keep the momentum through the next sweeper…

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

All the while the Lotus is telling you what’s happening, doing your bidding, putting it all together; flattering you, egging you on, making you feel heroic. Scream to 7000rpm, ‘whoop-whoop’ out loud, grab fourth, and then again hard on the anchors, another blip, a short-circuit straight down to second again and don’t spare the clutch!

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

It’s all so vivid in my mind still, days after giving back the Lotus Evora Sport 410. I remember the rigid ride, the whining grind of the transmission thanks to chucked-out sound deadening, the snick-snack of the short-throw lever, the constant writhing and pulsating of the diminutive steering… every part of the car talking to me – and I liked what it was saying. Very much so.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

You can say what you like about Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens and even Porsches, but when it comes to pure driving, to distilling down the actual act of really being that cliché of ‘at one with the car’, there is still very little out there to touch the experience of driving a Lotus. And then you get cars like the Sport 410 – where Lotus takes the dial already nudged against the stop at 10, and forces it up to 11.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

The Evora 400 – essentially the second generation of the Evora – with new architecture (including a thinner and lower door sill to make getting in and our easier) was introduced last year. We drove it on track, read the review and watch the video here.

The 400 in the name indicates you get 400bhp from the solid Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 that’s supercharged in this application. For the Evora 410 – you guessed it – the power goes up to 410bhp. You also get 410NM of torque which is 302lb ft.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

Acceleration improve by a tenth to 0-100kph in 4.1 seconds for the automatic and 4.2 seconds for the wonderful six-speed manual we have here. Top speed is 300kph for this car and 285 for the auto.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

But that’s not the real story when it comes to this limited production edition. Get this, whilst the Evora 400 saved an astonishing 40kg over the previous Evora, the Evora 410 manages to shave another 70kg off the weight – incredible.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

How? With a lot of effort and a lot of detail touches, but here are the headlines: the rear seats (frankly pointless anyway) are gone; the roof is carbon fibre, the tailgate is one piece carbon fibre and they even ditched the gas struts and the forged alloys are lighter.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

There’s more, the tailgate glass is gone replaced with louvres instead, the rear side glass is gone, it has one-piece carbon race seats which weigh only 6kgs each, some of the door trim and sound-deadening is out, and in other markets creature comforts such as A/C and infotainment are removed – though for our market, AirCon is obviously a must.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

This car also gets the infotainment put back in and the reversing camera and it still has power windows and mirrors. Interestingly the 410 is priced at AED410k in the UAE ($112k). Though the base model would be about AED30-40k less and the regular Evora around another 20-30k below that.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

Also worth nothing is that the suspension has been revised with new dampers and firmer set up, the ride height is dropped by 5mm and with the reduction of mass in the roof and tailgate, the overall centre of gravity goes down by 12mm. The drag coefficient is also improved from 0.36 to 0.35.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

So this thing is certainly raw and raucous compared to the regular flavour, but it’s fractionally sharper, keener and more a precision instrument on track and twisty road. Right place, right time, this is an absolute hoot and there is nothing like the experience as I’ve described right at the top. It’s a sensational driver’s car.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

However over a few hundred kilometres of city driving and commuting it can get wearing. The lack of rear visibility is annoying, particularly when you realise that the side mirrors vibrate at motorway speeds, although the reversing camera makes parking easy. The ride makes you curse the road engineers for painting yellow stripes on the tarmac because they’re like tiny individual speed bumps all at the wheel of this Lotus.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

I kept wishing there was somewhere to rest my elbows, but that specific piece of trim has been removed. Most of all that seat though – I mean normally the thinnest of Lotus seats are actually fine once you’re in them, but the unforgiving nature of these buckets can leave you with back ache.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

Of course you can simply ask for the regular Evora’s seats to be put back in, just as with the other stuff – but then you end up with an Evora 400 again – and 10 extra bhp doesn’t make it a worthwhile difference. So frankly my suggestion is to just go for the Evora 400, you’ll get near enough the same performance and ability as makes no difference on the road, and it’s much easier to live with.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

Unless, that is, you do a lot of track days, sprints, autocrosses and such like, in which case get the 410, it’s just about the sharpest driver’s tool you can buy right now – aside from a Caterham but that’s even less practical – much less actually.

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

Oh, and in either case, if you know how to three-pedal it, get a manual. This car really deserves to driven with a self-shifter.

More Lotus reviews on MME here. 

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 Review

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