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A very strong case could be made for the Lotus Evora being a classic already, rather than one for the future.
This is its 13th year, having been announced in 2008 as the first all-new Lotus in more than a decade and part of one of the company’s fairly frequent new-range announcements.
This model did actually get built, obviously, and much was made about it being the only four-seat mid-engined sports car on sale, and that it was a Lotus with a softer touch.
Not a lighter touch, of course, but it wasn’t exactly heavy at just shy of 1400kg.
Today its raison d’être remains the same, though like every recent Lotus it has spawned numerous variants since: some a little racier; some a lot racier; most with the same letters and numbers in a different order and the word ‘Sport’ in varying places.
This, the GT410, is instead the latest to try to break through and become a mainstream success.
The problem, which inversely aids its case to being a classic, is actually spotting one.
Seen on a page, on screen and the odd time on track, it doesn’t get the chance to reveal its true magic. Up close, the car penned by Steve Crijns under design director Russell Carr shows none of its age and really is beautiful.
The sound from the supercharged Toyota V6 is intoxicating. And that aura of being a driver’s car is unfiltered: it handles like little else from outside East Anglia.
Also unchanged are the usual Lotus quirks. The glovebox takes at least three slams to shut, the odd light will appear on the binnacle with a beep to accompany it, the key is still from the mid-2000s Ford bin and the steering wheel is no longer a hand-crafted Moto-Lita.
Nor is the interior exactly pretty, with more vents and speakers appearing with every second glance.
But that’s part of the charm, along with a badge bearing the signature of its builder. It’s not cold, robot-built or soulless. Foibles be foibles.
Get it on the road and it’s done, you’re won over.
The ride is supple, never harsh, and it’s a joy whatever the surface and whatever the distance. It just has so much poise.
Road noise is minimal, with only the V6 rumbling quietly behind your ear – or loudly, if you’re in Sport mode.
A button on the centre console boosts you up, interfering less with your cornering speed to allow more wheel slip, 400 more revs, and with more responsive exhaust baffles giving you more noise more often.
Switch into Race mode and there’ll be less ESP; press it again and ESP is disabled.
An automatic’ box is only an option, with the standard manual placing a stout brushed gearlever perfectly beside your left leg.
Supposedly known as ‘Phil spec’ because it was introduced into the UK at the behest of CEO Phil Popham, a troublesome teenager this ain’t.
Just don’t ask about the price.
Images: John Bradshaw
- Engine supercharged 3456cc V6; 410bhp @ 7100rpm; 295lb ft @ 3500rpm
- Transmission six-speed manual, RWD
- 0-60mph 4.2 secs
- Top speed 174mph
- Mpg 25.7
- Price £82,900