The digital instrument panel looked like something out of a starship and the interior was so wacky that it was hard not to love it. The noise was amazing and the handling was sensational. It was fast, cheap, and looked good, not to mention the insanely high red line.
With the S2000 gone, what are we going to do? There is nothing quite like it on the market today. Today’s cars are getting softer not harder. Toyota pushed the date back on their FT-86 and Mazda will be getting rid of the RX-8 soon. The American car companies make muscle cars that are too heavy and terrible at handling, apart from the Ford Mustang . Really, if you want a fast, crazy, two-seat sports car there is little to choose from in today’s market.
Thank goodness we haveLotus . The Elise is a wonderful car if you live on a track, but it’s very hard on the road. The new Evora on the other hand, is a perfect mixture of track handling and a road precision.
Hit the jump for the full review.
The newLotus Evora 2+2 looks wonderful. The Lotus design is everywhere in this car. It actually looks like it’s moving, even when it’s stopped. This is just a wonderful piece of design from the British sports car company.
There is an aluminum chassis that is revised for greater torsional strength. In fact, the car is one and a half times stiffer than the Elise. The side sills have been revamped so you no longer look like a fool trying to get out like you would have in the Elise.
Under the hood is a Toyota 3.5-liter V6 and, while it’s not the most powerful engine in the world, it’s refined and smooth and cranks out the power seamlessly. The V6 produces 276 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough power for a car this light.
The brakes are sensational. Despite being about 100 pounds lighter than the Porsche 911 , the brakes are larger. The Evora wears 13.8-inch front brakes that shrug off track use like a fly on its shoulder.
With the engine in the middle, Lotus had to work their engineering voodoo to get two seats in the back without making the car look silly, like the Ferrari Mondial did. The good news is they have accomplished this goal; the bad news is that if you have legs and are more than 4 feet tall, you’re not going to fit.
Upfront, the Lotus is truly amazing. There is plenty of room for tall drivers and passengers. We have friends who are 6’6 and didn’t have to move the seat all the way to the back in order to fit inside.
Around back there is enough room for golf clubs, which the Lotus man quickly pointed out. There is even enough room for a quick road trip or a journey to the grocery store. Just as long as there is nothing tall that can’t be laid down on its side.
Driving impressions were wonderful. The car handled well and had great steering, but of course it did, it’s a Lotus. Yet, being a Lotus, it was bound to be hard on the regular roads, right?
Wrong. Even on the bumpy stuff, the Evora glided over everything that the Wisconsin roads could throw at it. We can‘t think of another mid-engined sports car that was this smooth. It actually feels like a quality product.
The Evora comes with hydraulic power assist as opposed to the unassisted racks of the other Lotus models. Yet, the Lotus magic is still there. The weighing is perfect and the constant feedback that comes out of the steering wheel is a truly wonderful sensation.
Sure, there are problems with the car. The satellite navigation is hard to use and the dash reflects onto the windscreen in certain light. That makes it so you can only see the dash and not the road when it’s sunny. The buttons are placed to ensure you can’t see them or use them. Yet, we just don’t care.
The Evora , then, is not a car that you buy because it goes around corners better than anything else on the planet. It’s a car that you buy because it’s really good. It’s a fast, practical, well-made, mid-engined sports car. Let’s not even talk about the price because it’s just so remarkable. All of this is just $75,000. It might seem like a lot, but for what you get, it’s just not.
That price tag means that it’s going to be going up against the Porsche 911 and the Nissan GT-R . Which one should you buy? Well, that decision will not be easy. The GT-R is wonderful and we have always loved them, but on the road they can be a bit dull. The Porsche 911 is a car that we have never liked, but they are very good. It’s your call, Japanese technology, German engineering, or British ingenuity?