Journal: What Do You Think Of Lotus’ Fastest Road-Going Car: The New GT430 Sport?

What Do You Think Of Lotus’ Fastest Road-Going Car: The New GT430 Sport?

Alex Sobran By Alex Sobran
September 6, 2017
11 comments

What would Colin Chapman think of an automatic gearbox in a car bearing the Lotus name? He might chagrin the additional weight and the dilution of the driving experience, but I doubt he would scoff at the performance of the brand’s modern offerings. Put him in a 3-Eleven and there’d be a smile appearing soon afterwards. 

Lotus has had a rocky fiscal existence in recent times, and though track days are still populated with plenty of Elises and Exiges, they just don’t have a large enough market (at least in the US) to really start expanding their scope. In a way this is a good thing, for a Lotus SUV, or crossover, or sport-noun-vehicle, or any other hallmark of an expanding sports car company would be a tragic headline.

They do have plenty of models to choose from though, albeit they are based off of two chassis; the Elise and the Evora. The hierarchy of today’s Lotus automobiles boils down to trim levels and engine options, and we wouldn’t be so disappointed in the limited selection if the cars weren’t so good. The Evora GT430 for instance, is a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 with the horsepower figure right there in the name. It will reach 60mph in 3.7 seconds, and it weighs a scant 2,775 pounds dry. It’s quick. It’s the most powerful Lotus road car ever built, and it just got faster.

Today the brand has announced yet another variant on its existing Evora platform, the Evora GT430 Sport. It’s not to be dismissed as a mindless add-on. For this is the fastest production Lotus ever made, with the aforementioned V6 able to send the car to a top speed of 196mph when equipped with a manual transmission. Though the addition of “Sport” to the preexisting GT430 model implies a sportier version, this is actually a slightly more sedate experience. The car still comes with the limited edition GT430’s (only 60 were built) Öhlins dampers, AP Racing calipers, adjustable TCS, and the same swaths of carbon fiber making up the bumpers, roof, nose panel, rear quarter panels, and tailgate, but it ditches the aero kit consisting of a front splitter, fixed rear wing, and louvered arches. It also sits on skinnier wheels and tires, all of which help it reach a higher top speed than its more track-focused relative. The Sport also adds the automatic gearbox option that the GT430 did not, and equipping it as such will up the 0-60 time by a tenth over the manual, but reduces the top speed to 177mph. As if you needed another reason to get the manual.

The best thing about the new GT430 Sport though lies not in the numbers that hint at the performance capabilities, but in the lack of figures: they will build as many of these as people want to buy. No word yet on whether it will make it to the United States, but if it does, expect it to be priced about $11,000 cheaper than the limited edition GT430.

So until we get to drive one, what are your thoughts? Does this car carry on the tradition of lightweight, highly-connected sports cars that the company built its reputation on? Does faster actually mean better? It’s not a plump and plodding supercar that has a high top-end that you’ll never see on the speedometer, but it’s not an Elan or a Seven either. 

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11 Comments on "What Do You Think Of Lotus’ Fastest Road-Going Car: The New GT430 Sport?"

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Boxerman
Boxerman
Better looking than any other evora. Lighter is better. Still is this wet of dry weight. In nay event significantly lighter than a ferrari lambo or porche. As to built, the newer loti are just fine. the motor BTW comes froma toyota highlander, is then superchaged inetrcooled etc. Its relaible, sweet reving, smooth and sounds great. The problem is a paper faster vette can be had for the same price. I say paper faster because on track or backroad this lotus is going as fast as any other, and is probably a whole lot more fun. It also wont fade… Read more »
HitTheApex
HitTheApex
“You either get this car or you don’t.” Well said. That’s true of many Lotuses. I don’t think many people would cross-shop this with a Vette. The Corvette is a front-mounted engine sports car with speed in mind, and while the suspension has come leaps and bounds with the C7 compared to previous models of the American icon, the mid-engined Brit with a reworked Japanese heart will out-handle it. Being a mid-engined car, especially from Lotus, this car’s calling card is handling. The added power is just a nice perk to keep its performance on par with or a tick… Read more »
KTGTS
KTGTS

What kind of an automatic is it? Anyone know? Torque converter, single clutch, dual clutch…?

John Tennyson
John Tennyson

What do I think?

I think I need one!

JB21
JB21

Sigh of relief, that it still has the third pedal.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Sleek as all get out . Maintains Chapman’s ethos of low weight great handling . Incredible performance . Visually stunning and unique in this age of homogenized Cosmic Jellybean design ; But .. the negatives . The cost in comparison to the low quality this being essentially an elaborate albeit well done ‘ kit car ‘ is abysmal ( a consistent problem with Lotus for decades … e.g. over priced ) Its now owned by the dreaded Geely who’ve done their damnedest to ruin Volvo so no doubt they’ll do the same to Lotus . And … in light of… Read more »
Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

From the Dept of Corrections – hostly should of read history .

TheImpracticalMan
TheImpracticalMan

I have always loved the philosophy of Lotus. Lightweight and simple. I also like that new exposed shift linkage that they’re doing on the Elise now.

Though I’d much prefer a naturally aspirated 8000 rpm V6 in here rather than a supercharged one.

HitTheApex
HitTheApex

On the upside, the Toyota 2GR engine is still fairly quick-revving for a V6, even with a supercharger. It responds very well to boost, especially with accompanying modifications to the motor. There’s a few people who have managed to cit the TRD supercharger on the 2GR-FE (2GR-FSE) under the hood of Mk2 MR2s. It’s too tight for most “meatier” superchargers, so some opt for turbocharging.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

FYI TIM .. its definitely lightweight … but I’d be hard pressed to call it .. simple . A Caterham 7 is simple . A classic Lotus Elan is simple . This .. though not to the level of say a Ferrari or a Porsche is as complex as most contemporary road cars … out of necessity … unfortunately ..e.g. the digital nannies abound

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Suffice it to say after driving an SC you’d change your tune toot suite ( pun intended .. not that most here would recognize a pun or genuine irony if it slapped them over their digitally addled little snowflake heads ) 😎

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