Lotus has had its share of troubles in recent years, but the new Evora 400 – the fastest car in the company's history – proves beyond a shadow of doubt that there's life in the old marque yet.

Ahead of an official unveiling at the Geneva motor show in March, the British sports car maker offered a preview of its new top model.

The company claims some two-thirds of the Evora 400 is new, including a stiff new aluminium chassis and composite body panels, which cut curb weight by about 50lbs. A supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine produces a stout 400 horsepower. That’s a significant 55hp more than the very quick supercharged Evora S and 124hp more than the standard, normally aspirated car.

As such, this most vicious Evora will blast from zero to 60mph in 4.1 seconds and press on to a top speed of 186mph — three-tenths of a second quicker and 8mph faster than the Evora S. The company claims the new car will lap its 2.2mi test track in Hethel a full six seconds faster than the standard Evora.

No surprise, Porsche's mightiest Cayman won't be going down without a fight. The German carmaker claims the 385-horsepower GT4 will reach 60mph in 4.2 seconds and keep moving all the way to 183mph.

Production is slated to start in summer, and the Evora 400 will begin reaching European Lotus showrooms in August; deliveries to North America will commence in the autumn. The company has not announced pricing. In the US, the Evora S starts at just over $80,000. The Cayman GT4, which reaches US Porsche dealers in July, will command $85,595.

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