This is a special, one-off Lotus Evora Sport 410 with ‘heritage tartan’ trim. It’s the same tartan used in the Lotus Esprit S1, which in turn was used in Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me.
And Lotus loves the Esprit S1 (if you like Bond, who doesn’t love the S1?), and has thus turned one Evora Sport 410 into the ultimate collector’s item for Roger Moore’s 007.
“So many of us recall the impact of the Lotus Esprit when it hit the big screen in The Spy Who Loved Me,” explains Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales, “and we wanted to honour that with a special Evora Sport 410.”
What’s special about it then? Well, Lotus Exclusive – the in-house personalisation department – gave it a colour-coded front bumper, a one-piece carbon fibre tailgate, a black coach line, and a bespoke badge script on the rear flank (the same style used for the Esprit’s graphics).
Elsewhere, there’s that tartan trim on the carbon fibre seats and door panels, and red contrast stitching along the Alcantara dash and console. Um, that’s about it.
Sadly, there is no feature that secretly turns it into a submarine. Or maybe there is, and we just haven’t been told about it. Either way, this particular 410 retains the regular 410’s 3.5-litre supercharged V6, producing 410bhp and 302lb ft of torque to record a 0-60mph time of four seconds (3.9s for the auto). Top speed? 190mph if you have a manual gearbox, 177mph for the auto. Secret agent underwater speed unconfirmed…
And it’s a special bit of kit, irrespective of any Bond connection. “Astoundingly communicative steering and a relatively playful yet utterly trustworthy chassis that’s pretty beguiling,” is how we described when we drove it. So it’s good, then. ‘Sublime’, even.
“It’s the perfect tribute to such an influential Lotus,” Jean-Marc Gales adds, “but a world away in terms of its abilities and performance.
“Lotus was founded on the principle of lightweight engineering and, even today, nobody does it better,” he said. Ah, we see what you did there…
Isn’t it funny how overfenders have become associated with form?
Back in the day, these additions provided a cost-effective way for race teams to fit fatter wheel and tyre combos under the guards of their competition cars. But these days the practice of cutting fenders and covering it all up with flares is often criticised as just a fad, which it may well be.
So it’s always refreshing to see overfenders actually being used to extract more performance out of a car. And I came across quite a few Exiges with pumped fenders at the recent Japan Lotus Day event.
When it came time to choose one to spotlight, I ended up going for this particular car – because unpainted carbon fiber is as cool as it gets, right?
The flares are held in place around each of the four wheel arches with exposed screws; it’s much like Miura does with his own kits and all the other kits he designs and creates for companies like Liberty Walk.
Here, it’s then all tied in with carbon fiber skirts and a nicely extended front lip spoiler. Doing so has allowed the owner to run a nice and aggressive offset on the black RAYS Volk Racing TE37SLs, which in turn are shod with the obligatory tyre of choice for a Japanese-built track car: Yokohama Advan A050s.
The Exige had a ton of cool touches, and one I really liked was the front number plate mounted on the tow hook. This is a solution I discovered years back at this very event, and one I’ve been meaning to implement on Project GT-R.
Inside the stock seats have given way to Bride buckets.
The aero additions are completed with a carbon fiber rear diffuser and an adjustable rear wing.
And judging by the upgraded intercooler under the engine cover, all of the exterior refining must be matched to an equal amount of attention where it really matters. This is Japan after all!