Carbon and titanium lighten the load for driver-focused Lotus Evora 400
Compared to most cars the Lotus Evora 400 is a stripper special with little regard for comfort, but the lightweight wizards working under Jean-Marc Gales think more pounds can be shed. Having applied their considerable nous to a new set of options, Lotus engineers have trimmed a further 42 kg (93 lb) from the car, making the driving experience even more focused in the process.
The weight savings come courtesy of an extensive set of factory-fit options, designed to remove some of the compromises from the Evora 400. The most noticeable external change is the Carbon Pack, which makes for a 5 kg (11 lb) saving. Speccing it replaces the roof, front splitter elements, mirror caps and rear diffuser trim with artfully finished handmade carbon fiber parts.
Having specced the Carbon Pack, we'd also be taking a look at the lightweight titanium exhaust and lithium-ion battery for an extra 20 kg (44 lb) weight saving. Not only is it light, the exhaust should free up a bit of extra growl from the mid-mounted supercharged V6, and the tip will slowly turn a beautiful shade of bluey-purple as it's used.
The final step in the Evora 400's quest for enlightenment is to delete the rear seats and air-conditioning. As well as shaving another 17 kg (37 lb) from the curb weight, making the car a two-seat sauna feels properly in line with the traditional Lotus racing values.
Interestingly, US and Canadian cars come as standard with a cupholder and oddment tray, which weighs just 120 g (0.25 lb). It's convenient, but having paid big bucks for such a light car, we'd recommend sticking to skim milk if you plan on using it.
"The Lotus Evora 400 is already the lightest car in its segment, with super car performance, benchmark handling and the purity of the driving experience expected of a Lotus," says Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus. "We are now giving customers an opportunity to drive an even lighter and more responsive car."
With the full gamut of lightweight options fitted, the Evora 400 tip will tip the scales at 1,353 kg (2,983 lb) in Europe. Thanks to that figure jumps to 1,388 kg (3,060 lb) on North American cars – blame stricter Government safety regulations for that one.
Regardless of where you are, making the car lighter will have a similar effect on your wallet. The carbon package costs £6,500 ($10,000 through US dealers), the titanium exhaust is worth £5,500 ($8,000) and the lithium-ion battery is worth another £1,350 ($1,690) on top of the £72,000 ($91,900) sticker price.