New Lotus Evora GTE vs the Stig
The most powerful road-going Lotus ever vs our tame racing driver
Posted: 12 Jul 2012
There's been a discreet little bargain here that means the GTE looks much harder to deal with than it really is. A massive plus. Out on the road, the feeling is amplified. The wide track should make the car fidget and follow, writhe and squirm - but doesn't. You can feel what's going on with the front wheels, especially when braking down into a corner with the excellent - and standard - Evora S brakes, but the steering rack is actually unusually considered in its reactions: not so much slow-geared as not wound up to need correction every microsecond. So although you might be left wanting for millimetric kerb-clipping on a track, flowing down a bumpy back road is fluid guidance, rather than a series of snatchy inputs, as the front wheels buck and flicker. The wider track does make a difference out on a real road, with the GTE not quite as effortless as the standard Evora, but it's a close-run thing. And it has the front-end grip to make up for any loss of finesse.
The trick is that compliance in the suspension. Down a B-road, this car is staggering simply because it stays in contact with the floor no matter what the surface is doing. Imagine a ball bearing dropped onto a wet sponge; it doesn't bounce, or deflect, or roll off in an unexpected direction. That's what the GTE feels like over bumps. Like it has millipede legs instead of wheels, feeding into the ridges and holes. Other marques always seem to sacrifice road manners on the altar of track severity, and it rarely makes for a car that's any fun when the going gets coarse, compliments generally delivered through lightly clenched teeth. The GTE is a Lotus and ignores convention. It's one of the most delightfully sorted suspensions in the world, bar none.