2020 Lotus Evora GT first drive: Lighter, stronger, faster

The latest example of this philosophy is the new Evora GT, successor to the Evora 400. The new car rides on an improved version of the 400’s extruded and bonded aluminum frame so stiff that it takes 27,000 Nm of force to twist it one degree. That is stiff. It is wrapped in composite body panels that combine to create 160 pounds of downforce at the car’s top speed of 188 mph. (For true Lotus fan boiz, the 160 pounds of downforce is distributed 60 percent on the front axle and 40 on the rear.) With numerous optional carbon fiber parts that were on my particular test car, Lotus said it weighed 3104 pounds. Lightness! That’s 71 pounds less than the old Evora 400 without the carbon fiber roof, tailgate, dash panels and seatbacks. So 3104 pounds is pretty light, especially considering that my test car was a 2+2 configuration. (I looked in the back at those seats but didn’t try getting into them. Maybe yoga would help. But the back seats looked like they might actually be functional for small children. And didn’t half of you get ferried around in your youth in the back seats of 911s anyway? The Evora GT rear seats look like they could actually work.)
The best thing about the 3104-pound curb weight is that it is pushed around by 416 horsepower Toyota-sourced V6 (in Toyota trim the engine makes 280 hp). The 3.5-liter unit is supercharged and chargecooled (not intercooled) to achieve peak power at 7000 rpm. Peak torque is 317 lb-ft. Each horsepower has 7.5 pounds of Lotus to move around, which is not exactly supercar territory but is darn close to it. Lotus says 0-60 comes up in 3.8 seconds, which is three tenths quicker than the Evora 400. Again, not supercar numbers but certainly supersportscar numbers, if there is such a category. You’ll be impressed when you drive it.