I test drove the 400 several months ago and in comparison to my 2012 S here's the cliff notes:
- MUCH improved gearbox feel
- MUCH MUCH improved exhaust compared to the original exhaust on the S1 although I've got the Plack exhaust on mine.
- overall better driving experience
- slightly better interior quality but not necessarily better interior styling
- more aggressive looks but I absolutely hate the rear on the 400
- better brakes but the S1 has fantastic brakes as well
The test drive only served to confirm my suspicions....I'll be putting my car up for sale as soon as the 400 Roadster makes it's debut in the States.
I test drove both a manual and automatic. My 2013 is IPS.
I pretty much agree with you on everything. Although I never drove an Evora stick before the 400, compared my my Elise it was night and day. Way better.
The automatic I test drove was way faster at shifting in sport manual mode and way better staying in proper gear in full sport auto mode. I never drive my 2013 in full auto unless its a real long trip, I could almost see myself driving in sport auto around town. It was quite a difference.
I never thought the stock exhaust was that bad on the S1, at least not on mine, but after driving with the 400s it now sounds like a sewing machine. Exhaust is one of the nicest V6 exhausts I have ever heard, especially for a stock exhaust.
The steering felt better to me, don't get me wrong the S1 steering is really good, but sometimes I feel there is too much feedback (I know some people like that). The 400 seemed to give more of the feedback I needed to know and less of what I don't. It was also much tighter, just felt better to me.
I agree on interior as well. The quality is better, but aesthetically just looking at it I feel my S1's looks better. However it seemed everything just felt better built in the interior.
Honestly I went back and forth on the looks, until I saw it in person. The front end looks way better than S1 to me and so does the rear, maybe to a lesser extent. I still like the GTE style rear better, but honestly I thought the S1's rear was its weakest design point. Makes the car look smaller than it is and does not really look very aggressive at all.
I went in for a test drive because I was in the area, I walked out agreeing to buy the auto. Don't get me wrong, the stick felt nice, but it was in my least favorite color (racing green), was a demo car, and honestly with how quick shifting the auto was compared to my S1 I was happy. Honestly I was kind of hoping to walk away from the 400 not being impressed, or at least not impressed enough to buy one. I have never bought a new car in my life, but this is first one where I felt it was worth it to me. Plus they gave me good trade-in and what I felt was great deal.
Should be taking delivery next week.