The Evora is a mid-engined sports car with a 3.5 litre V6 Toyota motor nestling immediately behind the passenger cabin, giving the car excellent weight balance.
Lotus has an enviable reputation for its lightweight, fast and exciting sports cars, in the tradition set by the company’s founder, Colin Chapman. But its past reputation for reliability has been patchy, such that Lotus was historically known by owners of its cars, jokily but with an underlying irritation, to stand for “Loads Of Trouble, Usually Serious”.
Its modern cars are a far cry from the charismatic but troublesome models of the company’s somewhat cottage industry past. Lotus today combines a high-tech engineering company alongside a small-scale, specialist high-performance sports car manufacturer with its own high-speed test track at its headquarters in Hethel, rural Norfolk.
The Lotus Evora – its name derives from a meshing of evolution and aura, but is also shared with a Portuguese town – is an elegant 2+2 sports car that is very much in the familiar Lotus mould. Its name beginning with an E continues a long-standing Lotus tradition. Elegant, light and fast, with a glass fibre body, the Evora is a thoroughly British supercar with head-swivelling looks.
The version we test here is the Evora S, the supercharged model with a six-speed paddle-shift IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) automatic transmission. Evora prices start from £53,080 for the standard two-seater model.
The Evora is a mid-engined sports car with a 3.5 litre V6 Toyota motor nestling immediately behind the passenger cabin, giving the car excellent weight balance. The Evora is low and wide, with the bodywork wrapped around the wheelbase to give it a very secure, planted feel on the road. In this S version the engine is supercharged, lifting the power output from the 276bhp of the standard Evora to 345 bhp, peaking at 7,000 rpm. Performance is electrifying, with 0-62 mph acceleration in under five seconds and a top speed heading for 170 mph.
The auto transmission is unusual in having no central control lever. Instead there are buttons on the centre console that you press to engage Park, Drive, Reverse, and Neutral. There is also a Sport mode, which sharpens the gear shifts and throttle response, making an already vibrant car feel even more alive. There are also nicely-placed paddles at the ten-to-two position behind the steering wheel, to allow you to dictate the gear change points rather than letting the car decide for you.
Considering the very high performance of this car, its fuel economy is relatively moderate at close to 30 mpg on the combined figure, achieved partly due to the Evora’s light body weight for its size, at under 1,500 kg. Light weight has long been a feature of Lotuses.