James Robinson

BRITISH SPORTS CAR manufacturer Lotus has unveiled its most powerful road car ever: the Evora GT430.

Based on Lotus’s popular mid-engined sports car, the Evora, the GT430 is a stripped down and beefed up track weapon aimed at taking the fight to some big opponents from the likes of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.

Power comes from a Toyota-sourced 3.6lt supercharged V6 that churns out, you guessed it, 430hp (321kW) and a sizeable 440Nm.

That power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and, if the owner feels like giving it the full beans, the GT430 can accelerate from nought to 100km/h in a rapid 3.7 seconds, before hurtling on to a deeply impressive top speed of 305km/h.

The bonkers performance figures only tell half the story of this new car however, because what Lotus has really focussed on with the creation of the GT430 is lightness and aero.

For a start, the GT430 has managed to shave an additional 26 kilograms off its less hardcore sibling, the Evora 410, bringing the total weight down to a mere 1258 kilograms dry.

Lotus has achieved this by adorning the GT430 with an abundance of weight saving modifications that include a titanium exhaust, carbon body panels, lightweight interior components, Öhlins and Eibach adjustable spring and damper assembly, lightweight rear brake discs, a thinner aluminium undertray, lightweight aluminium brackets, lightweight polycarbonate backlight glass and a re-profiled fluid fill system.

The aero figures are just as impressive as the overall weight, as peak downforce for the Evora is a crazy 250 kilograms at its top speed of 305km/h. That’s like having a sumo wrestler sitting on top of the roof !

These whopping levels of downforce are down to some trick aero bits that have been bestowed upon the GT430, some of which are obvious, like the massive rear wing, others being more subtle, like the new carbon fibre front splitter, air blades and louvres on top of each wheel arch.

The GT430 then is both a faithful creation and a bit of a contrarian to the philosophy of Lotus’s founder, Colin Chapman, who famously said “simplify, then add lightness”.

On the one hand, the Lotus has managed to shave quite a bit of weight off using a plethora of lightweight componentry. On the other, simplification and the dark art of aerodynamics seldom go hand-in-hand.

Lotus Australia has yet to confirm the local pricing for the Evora GT430, or even if we will get the chance to see one in the land of Oz.

All we can hope for is that it does find its way down here, and that we can drive it!