Before the Evora came along, Lotus had most recently been producing incredibly fun but also incredibly inconvenient and punishing little sports cars. Like its smaller Elise and Exige stablemates, the Lotus Evora is built upon a very rigid aluminum chassis that is bonded (not welded or bolted) together. The result is light weight and razor-sharp handling. But unlike its smaller siblings, the Evora features a more calm and comfortable cabin and two rear seats.
Unfortunately, those rear quarters are comically small and unable to comfortably accommodate even the most diminutive passengers. Added sound insulation, power steering and a more refined ride quality make the Evora a more civilized Lotus, but it still trails most other sports cars when it comes to comfort and convenience. Even so, these are fairly small concessions to make in the name of performance.
Current Lotus Evora
The midengine 2+2 Lotus Evora is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that is sourced from Toyota. The base model produces 276 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The Evora S makes use of a supercharger to increase output to 345 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. While these numbers aren't all that impressive when stacked up against other sports cars, it's important to note that the Lotus weighs a scant 3,000 pounds. That lack of weight allows the Evora to accelerate to 60 mph in under 5 seconds and handle as sharply as any non-Lotus vehicle. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, while an optional six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is available.
Noteworthy standard features include bi-xenon headlights, leather-upholstered front seats, cloth-upholstered rear seats and a CD/MP3 player with iPod integration and auxiliary audio jack. The optional Premium package adds accent lighting, a center armrest, heated front seats and leather interior trim. The Sport package features selectable sport modes, enhanced throttle response, a higher rpm limit, a rear underbody diffuser, titanium exhaust tips and cross-drilled brake rotors with black-painted calipers. The Technology package adds cruise control, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo, a 7-inch touchscreen display, navigation and a USB port.
Stand-alone options include a sports ratio gearbox, a rearview camera, power-folding mirrors, various wheel options, clear paint protection film, faux-suede seat inserts and a premium audio system. Buyers can also opt to delete the rear seats in favor of a rear parcel area. Opting for the Evora S adds an exhaust bypass valve that opens in Sport mode, a heavy-duty clutch and a close-ratio transmission. Also included are all the items from the Sport package along with a sportier suspension tune and a more aggressive rear aero diffuser.
The Lotus Evora is most at home on tight, twisting roads. Like Lotus' other models, the Evora knifes through turns with uncommon precision and otherworldly levels of grip. Unlike the Elise, however, the Evora provides a relatively serene cabin with few squeaks and rattles, plenty of sound insulation and a suspension that reduces pothole effects to "normal" car standards.
Power is plentiful throughout the rev range and the transmission features well-spaced gears to make the most of the V6's output. Steering feel is as good as it gets for any car, and the power steering makes maneuvering in tight spots effortless.
Used Lotus Evora Models
The Lotus Evora debuted in the 2010 model year. For the following year, the Evora S was added to the lineup, along with the optional automatic transmission, heated seats and the faux-suede upholstery.