This is the first event I’ve been to since this dreadful global situation – Lotus Unlocked at Caffeine & Machine – and thank the Car Gods for that! It was so great to see people again and even better to see incredible cars again.
Lotus invited myself and Anthony to meet the team and drive the Evora GT410. Not only that, we were surrounded by some classic models too – so I was in heaven.
I’ve always admired Lotus from afar, they have an incredible history, racing heritage and in my opinion their styling, branding and general ethos is very Brit cool. But I’ve never driven a Lotus. I talk a lot about the cars I drive regularly and how I’m used to a lack of tech, unfinished builds and starting my journeys off with a prayer to the The Car Gods that I’ll actually get where I’m going. So I’m always keen to drive anything new, different, challenging and exciting – which is exactly what this day turned out to be.
As we were at Caffeine & Machine I tested the Evora GT410 around b-roads, so my experience is based on the car as a road going beastie (although I’m planning to get on track with it ASAP).
As soon as I got in the car I was at home, as soon as I was on the tarmac I was in my happy place and as soon as I was en route and my foot was down, forget about it, I was hypnotised. I’ve read about this car so I knew it would be good, but dayyuum, I didn’t think it would be this good.
The Evora GT410 is the fastest Lotus so far (excluding their EV hypercar) with a top speed of 186mph and 410bhp, the 3.5 litre supercharged V6 will do 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. The six-speed manual gearbox is what I would call a proper gear box, for a proper driver – it commands considered actions and respect, which I what I would expect from a car like this. (I know a few people who are harsh and messy with gear changes and I’d never let them drive this car). The sound of that two-stage sports exhaust is better than any rock n roll track on my playlist and the car feels incredibly planted, responsive and composed. This gave me confidence as a driver and allowed me to keep pushing the car – which is exactly what I want. For a road car that I can take to the track, I want performance and excitement but I don’t want to have to fight the car for those things and always be on edge in case it tries to bite me in ass. Which is why this model is bang on – it’s always hoon ready, but in a refined, stylish, effortless manner. So if you want a sudden wave of keen emotion and excitement, it’s ready, and everything inbetween is still inspiring but doesn’t require a tazzer to tame it.
Stylistically it’s stunning, still very Lotus and therefore a headturner, but in my opinion it’s a cut above some other models. The interior has a race feel to it but it’s not too sparse or stripped back – so for me it’s the perfect balance. It’s not been spoiled with too many gadgets but it still has everything I need and much more than I’m used to. I love the fact that when I glance in the rear view mirror I can see the engine – I would never tire of that and it’s so comfortable you could do some serious miles in this car and not emerge contorted.
I adore being behind the wheel of this car, it made me feel like a superhero – completely uplifting and you know people are going to look when you drive this, because they’ll hear you before they see you. But rather than muttering under their breathe about a midlife crisis, I think they’d congratulate you for driving the Evora GT410 – making the petrol head’s choice and winning at life. I definitely would anyway.
So my first experience in a Lotus was an extremely positive one. The trouble is I do feel like it’s ruined my life, because now I need to find a way to acquire £85,675 (OTR) so I can buy one and feel this exhilarated everyday. I can’t wait to get this off the road and onto a track, test it in a different way and see if I’m still obsessed, I have a feeling I will be.
So on that note I must go, I have to meet a man about some microfilm….
For more photos of the event and the classic models from Lotus Unlocked at Caffeine & Machine visit my Instagram @helenstanleyofficial
Blog photos by Alex Lawrence.