The fastest-ever Lotus rolls off the production line and onto roads

7 September, 2015

Construction of the of Lotus’ latest lightweight track warriors, the new 2015 Evora 400 Sport, has come to a head, with the first of the revolutionary new cars being delivered to owners and dealerships all over Europe as we speak.

The Evora 400 Sport has set a new benchmark for the plucky manufacturer, as the fastest-ever production car ever issued by the brand. Predictably, it’s light — weighing in at 1375kg. While some might not consider that number to be wildly impressive, it starts to make more sense when you consider that the 400 Sport is almost 50kg lighter than the preceding Evora model, and beneath its suave and smooth body-lines it conceals a 400hp, supercharged, mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine.

In full flight, the Sport will be capable of hitting 300kph, taking only 4.2 seconds to get to 100kph along the way. And, naturally, it’ll be able to turn on a dime as well, utilizing an AP Racing brake package, a limited-slip differential, and, of course, Lotus’ famed chassis and handling know-how.

The Sport’s options include a complex infotainment system, an automatic transmission, leather-trim upgrades, and metallic paint. But really, if you’re purchasing a Lotus — no less the fastest Lotus ever produced — you’re spending your hard-earned folding because you want a car that can ride a B road like a pro. If you must drop some extra coin on your Evora, the lightweight forged alloy wheels are probably the best bet.

The release of the car comes just as Lotus has hit an economic upswing — not a trend traditionally associated with a car manufacturer with such a niche market. The number of Lotus dealers worldwide has increased markedly, from 138 to 193, in just the last 15 months.

While North American and Chinese markets will be among the next ones to wrap their hands around the Sport, New Zealand will have to wait a little bit longer. But once it’s here, we at New Zealand Classic Car would love to get our mitts on one!

What about you, would you take something like this instead of an Italian or German alternative from the likes of Ferrari or Porsche? Clock in your verdict in our poll below:

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.