Very Fast Forward
Wet Nellie isn’t the kind of name you’d normally associate with an iconic sportscar. But almost forty years ago a certain Mr Bond made Nellie famous by emerging from the Mediterranean in a somewhat damp, but very eye catching Lotus Espirit S1, aka Wet Nellie, which as you may well recall, doubled up as a very convincing mini submarine. In fact probably the best looking submarine ever in our opinion.
That spectacular debut also marked the beginning a long term relationship between Lotus and NGK. A relationship which not only covered its road cars, but F1 racers too, which at the time were having one of their most successful seasons ever with Mario Andretti taking four victories and narrowly missing out on the title.
Fast forward to today and that history has just had another chapter added with the launch of Lotus’s fastest ever production road car. The Lotus Evora 400 is powered by a 400hp (hence the name), 3.5 litre supercharged V6, 24 valve, water cooled, all aluminium engine which accelerates to 60mph in only 4.1 seconds and tops out at 186mph. So it’s healthily quick and somewhat spritely too with an all up kerb weight of only 1395kg and a further 32 kg added as a result of aero induced downforce.
This latest addition to the Lotus high performance stable follows an already busy year where the men from Hethel have launched some other higher performance variants of Elise and Exige models, as well as the track day special 3 Eleven.
With a list price of around £72,000, the Lotus Evora 400 is not exactly inexpensive, but when you consider that over 50% of the car is new, then it does represent a substantial advance over the original car, which incredibly, has been on the roads now for some six years.
The new 3 Eleven will lighten your wallet even more, but exclusivity is guaranteed with a production run pegged to three hundred and eleven. Great thing though is that one variant is actually road legal, but not recommended if you like to keep a low profile. Mind you with a 0-60 time of under three seconds you’ll be gone before they know it. Prices start at £82,000 for the Road version rising to £115,200 for the Race version. Suspect a large jar of brave pills might be a wise addition to the shopping list too…