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2016 Lotus Evora 400 101 876x535 BBut at least the Evora 400 is lighter and quicker than the version it replaces—both strong Lotus attributes. It's also easier to get in and out of, and there's a new, higher-quality cabin, too. But the fundamentals are all unchanged: a bonded aluminum chassis, composite bodywork, and power from a supercharged Toyota V-6 mounted amidships.Green 468x60

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The numbers are certainly impressive. The 3.5-liter engine has been tuned to deliver 400 horsepower (a 55-hp increase) and 302 lb-ft of torque. Together with a 49-pound weight reduction to a claimed 3119 pounds, the official zero-to-60-mph time is reduced to 4.1 seconds and the top speed boosted to 186 mph. The rear wing and diffuser are said to deliver 71 pounds of aerodynamic downforce at 150 mph, and Lotus says the Evora 400 is six seconds quicker around its Hethel test track than the Evora S, matching the lap time of the Exige S.

Besides the increased output, the car gains a limited-slip rear differential for the first time (with the manual gearbox only), along with slightly larger brakes and lighter wheels (19 inches at the front, 20 inches at the rear). Lotus claims improved shift quality and clutch action for the standard six-speed manual, while the optional automatic again uses Lotus's push-button "PRND" interface and shift paddles.

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Although we're not blown away by the mildly revised exterior styling, the new cabin does look like a distinct improvement over the previous Evora's cheap-feeling cockpit, with switchgear now marshaled at the top of the dashboard rather than in the hard-to-see hinterland between the steering wheel and the door. We even quite like the natty shade of red leather trim in these official pictures. It still doesn't look particularly modern, but it no longer seems stuck in the 1990s.

Lotus has also delivered on its promise to improve access by reducing the width and height of the doorsills—they're 1.7 inches narrower and 2.2 inches lower, which should make getting in and out marginally easier. The new sports seats are claimed to be 13 pounds lighter, while the vestigial rear seats are 11 inches wider. There are also smart airbags, meaning that, after the Evora's one-year exile from the U.S., the 400 will be on sale here this fall.

The big question is how much it will cost. No U.S. figures have been released yet, but in the U.K., prices are set to rise by more than 10 percent compared to the previous Evora S (to around £70,000).