Lotus Evora

Posted by Paul Horrell at 11:44 am on Wednesday August 26, 2009

What an extraordinary company Lotus is. These few chaps from Norwich have managed, not for the first time, to build a car that does the very hardest things with transcendent brilliance.

The most enormous companies with the biggest engineering resources can’t beat this Lotus for its steering or its suspension damping. These are two of the most important facets of a sports car, because they’re part of the experience every mile you drive whether going slowly or flat-out.

And yet Lotus manages to screw up the easy stuff. You shut the bootlid and it sounds like a four-year-old has just chucked his Bob the Builder lunchbox onto the floor.

There are nine switches on the dash behind the steering wheel, including for significant stuff like the headlights, but to a normal-sized man in his normal seating position the only one visible is the one that opens the glovebox. The windscreen wiper doesn’t wipe the screen, it just smears it. I mean, huh?

The point about these deficits isn’t that they are intolerable. But they might cause you, at first anyway, to believe Lotus was paid by Porsche to build the Evora as an advertisement for the Cayman. These faults gnaw away inside you.

Well don’t let them. Just drive.

The whole conversation of driving is different in the Evora. It’s not just a matter of you and the car in argument with the road, setting out to tame it. No, in the Evora, it’s collaborative: you and the car and the road working together, creating a motion that’s really rather beautiful.

The steering is perfectly geared and weighted, but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is the feedback and transparency: it feels like you’re stroking the tyre treads with your fingertips.

Then there’s the way it glides over bumps, refusing to be upset, using every inch of the suspension’s generous travel without any floating or heave. That’s the genius of Lotus damping.

On the road, the 3.5-litre V6 is powerful enough. The whole car is marvellously balanced and grippy. On the track it felt like it could use more power, but that’s probably a compliment.

A Toyota Camry engine eh? Interesting that Toyota was happy to have Lotus do its own engine management and exhaust, but still let it be known it’s a Toyota engine underneath.

It’s a good powerplant – smooth, responsive and torquey. But is it an engine worthy of the chassis? Not really. How could it be?

Of course Lotus has done great chassis before. Try an Elise. But that’s near uninhabitable on a cold motorway run or in town. The Evora by contrast is properly useable. The suspension is quiet as well as supple, and the exhaust goes quiet at a cruise.

There’s room for your stuff. In fact it’s a packaging miracle: its body is small, yet behind you there’s a couple of child seats, an adequate fuel tank, a V6 and another boot.

So we all adored the Evora. Most of us wouldn’t be put off by the shonky bootlid or maladroit switch placement. But it faces another mountainous obstacle.

As specced, it’s nearly £60k, which is Nissan GT-R money. Even Lotus fans would have to admit that’s beyond ridiculous. But the basic version doesn’t compromise the driving or the comfort and that’s £47,500. Still a lot. But a drive should convince you.

Watch Stig lapping the TG GP ‘09 cars: Aston Vantage V12, Ferrari 599 HGTE, KTM X-Bow, Porsche 911 GT3, Nissan 370Z, Renaultsport Clio 200 Cup and Audi R8 V10.

Then read about blogs about all of them.

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  1. ninjaaaa :D said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I vole that car :D :D

  2. ninjaaaa :D said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to comment Report comment

    vole means love very much

  3. Anonymous said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to comment Report comment

    a

  4. outoftheblue said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Will we see THE LAP?

  5. Croaker said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I love Lotus, but the Evora is just too much money. I could get a lightly used 911 for that money. Of course I expect it will be possible to get a used one much cheaper in a few years since Lotus cars depreciate like stones. Great car, but I’d still take the 911.

  6. ryan said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    normally lotus’s are cheap but this one isn’t and it’s to safe

  7. Tak said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I’m totally in vole with her too, although at first I didn’t like her looks. Not a fairhaired supermodel, but exquisite lines and that takes some getting used to. It’s a steep price indeed, but if you go and woo your voled one, do you look at pricetags?
    @ Ninjaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa: Keichii?

  8. dublinlad said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i think this car isnt fast enought too expernsive and not that good looking

  9. Da Stig said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 3:40 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I’m from Norwich and absoulutely adore the Evore, it’s beautiful, handles magnificantly and is some-what luxerious. How can anyone not like this car?

  10. blingblong said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Admittedly it looks cool but lacks punch. Ya Ya ya don’t give me all the crap about steering feel and chassis setup being more important. You still want to out-accelerate a Golg GTI at least. I am waiting for a high performance Evora. Until then I stick with my Elise.

  11. GlennG said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to comment Report comment

    wonder when Hennessey, will tune this to 1200bhp

  12. alex said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 5:14 pm Link to comment Report comment

    r u sure u didnt spell love wrong?

  13. Dan said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 5:55 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ummmm well i havent yet seen a GTI tht has a 0-60 time of less than 5 secs…

    If i had 50K to spend, one of those would be mine like THT

  14. Gavin mohawk said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I really love this car. I like it 200X more than the 911

  15. William Hobbs said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I Have Never Liked Porsche! To Me They Don’t Seem Very Special!
    I Would Buy A Used Lambo Or Aston Martin V8 Vantage Instead!

  16. Bondy96 said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Yes, so its got bad build quality, but who cares? it looks amazing

  17. nHeroGo said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The Evora is revy revy volely. I’m not making fun of ninjas. Evora has that effect on men; makes us dizzy and droole for more.

    There is an explaination for the ill-placed switches. Lotus made the Elise for a decade, which is another way of saying that they have not made any switches for ten year. Lotus is not in the habbit of putting switches in meaningful places.

  18. llamanator said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 7:44 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i kinda think it looks like the new ferrari 458

  19. hercule poirot said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 7:48 pm Link to comment Report comment

    it may be a fantastic handling car,but looks ..well..it looks like a so so kit car..sorry lotus but it just doesn’t have the ‘want a fight’ look like the exige and the just perfect look of the elise.i’ve had a go in an elise and it was an absolute hoot . for that money i agree with’ croaker’ a used 911 any day anyway ..got to go now c ya ..hercule

  20. Veloce said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Profile appears very similar to the 70′s Lancia Stratos. I think they had good wipers though, needed to for rallying!

  21. Raptor said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm Link to comment Report comment

    its a bathtub!

  22. TiredGeek said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 9:29 pm Link to comment Report comment

    “L”ots “O”f “T”rouble “U”sually “S”erious.
    Wouldn’t touch one with a bargepole, certainly not at that sort of money, and second hand is just asking to have you’re wallet raped.
    Looks nice tho……..

  23. TiredGeek said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Oh, btw, £60k is into second hand Gallardo teritory. Toyota Camry engine or V10 Lambo, hmmm, decisions decisions..;)

  24. Marcus said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    This is an excellent car ( though I haven’t driven it yet) and when I went to play gt5 today I noticed the evora is in it and it was the best handling car in the game but I was so frustrated by power even when I tuned it to maximum it still felt slow please lotus stop Using toyota cast offs and start to build your own million horsepower v8s please that is the only thing holding this back from being the top gear lap record holder please please please do it and I promise I will buy sixteen

  25. Marcus said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Forgot to mention how it looks like a tesla roadster( not a bad thing) and how the interior looks fantastic and how kids can get in back and also how I want one but only when it is second hand cuz then I wouldn’t be laying out sixty k for it

    Actually I will do you a deal lotus I will by exactly almost a million evoras if the profit goes towards the engine described above

  26. Anonymous said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 1:38 am Link to comment Report comment

    Well written article Mr Horrell. The paragraph about the switches made me chorlte.

    Concerning the car, i dunnno. I popped into the local dealers recently and, i’m still not convinced about the looks, it’s all a bit too dumpy to my eye. Yeah it looks great in pics and on the telly, but in the metal, i was kinda nonplussed by it. Bit like when you see a really pretty girl on TV and think “wow she’s nice”. But when you meet her in real life you discover she’s a bit short and has a fat arse. No names, no pack-drill, *cough* GMTV Weather Girl *cough*.

    But if the driving experience is as good as you say it is, then it’s definitely worth considering. Although, as someone else has already said, it’s dangerously close to the asking price of a nearly new 911 Carrera S.

    Think i’m gonna hang on till they launch the one with the auto box….oh shit, did i say that out loud….i’m off…

  27. TGN said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to comment Report comment

    Amazing car I won’t one now!

  28. TGN said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to comment Report comment

    Anonoymous is funny!

  29. blingblong said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 9:05 am Link to comment Report comment

    Still, not enough power. It needs to scream like an Elise (or more, like 9000+ rpm). Also much lighter (around 1000 kg is max.) Where is the lightness credo of Lotus? And regarding the GOLF GTI comparison. I am certain that a GTI will outperform it on acceleration in real traffic. (say 30mph to 60 mph, not 0-60 that ismeaningless in real life). So where is the light weight performace version for me?

  30. John Mansfield said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to comment Report comment

    Lotus just posted an annual £15 million loss. So I sincereley hope that this car sells!
    This vehicle is a company saver…

  31. Exige97 said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to comment Report comment

    Great car that Lotus should make a profit out of. I want one!

  32. Irish Stiggy said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 11:43 am Link to comment Report comment

    That car is almost perfect

  33. skylineGTRr35 said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to comment Report comment

    I love that car

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    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

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  35. maximus said...
    Thursday August 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Evora! Designed for patriotic racing enthusiasts , who play golf with equally enthusiastic 6 year olds.

    Looking forward to seeing the “two minus two” as and when.

    Has any one tested an Artega GT yet?

  36. EliseEliseElise said...
    Saturday August 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    My name says is all…

  37. J4KE.H4M said...
    Monday August 31, 2009 at 4:14 pm Link to comment Report comment

    it looks like a tesla roadster.
    but petrol and therefore better

  38. Lukeage9 said...
    Tuesday September 1, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to comment Report comment

    This is probably the best Lotus ever designed.
    And I really like it!:-)

  39. turkcobra300zx said...
    Monday October 26, 2009 at 11:45 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i am suprised no one mentioned this, but come ONNNN! it looks like a telsa

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