First introduced back in 2009, the Evora seeks to combine the ultra-sharp handling Lotus has long been known for with a degree of comfort and practicality heretofore lacking from the automaker's offerings. Notably, the Evora is the only 2+2 sports car on the market with a mid-engine configuration.
The Evora is designed to compete with Porsche's Cayman on the performance side, but will be slightly more utilitarian thanks to its available four-passenger capacity. Lotus says the Evora's cabin is the most comfortable it has produced to date, with easier ingress and egress than any of its other models. Leather seats from Recaro, a closing glove box, storage bins and even cup holders are al standard equipment.
The Evora is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 from Toyota's parts bin, tuned slightly to produce a more impressive 276 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Placed behind the passenger compartment, the motor delivers its power to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
The car weighs in at just under 3,000 pounds, resulting in a sub-five-second zero-to-60 mph sprint and a 160 mph top speed. Fuel economy is actually quite good considering the Evora's performance credentials, with the EPA rating the car at 20/28 mpg and 19/28 mpg for the manual and automatic versions, respectively.
Reigning in the car are vented and cross-drilled disc brakes all around, sized at 13.8 inches up front and 13.1 inches out back and squeezed by AP Racing calipers.
The front wheels are 18 inches in diameter, surrounded by tires sized at 225/40-18, while the rears are 19s with 255/35-19 rubber. The forged aluminum wishbone suspension will use Bilstein shocks sitting inside Eibach springs to provide the Lotus-signature impressive handling capabilities.
The options list includes Bi-Xenon headlamps, three wheel choices (18 inch up front, 19 inch out back), power-folding exterior mirrors, a Tech Pack with a high-zoot Alpine Mobile Media System, Bluetooth, cruise control, rear parking sensors, an even higher-end Alpine/Lotus IMPRINT audio system, reverse camera, and full leather trim.
Enthusiasts will want to check off the Sport Pack, which includes unique throttle response and a higher RPM limiter, a sports traction control mode with increased slip thresholds, a sports diffuser, cross-drilled brake discs and an engine oil cooler.
At the Evora's price point, a number of diverse performance machines are available. These include the old-school Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, which is defined by its potent pushrod V8, the Porsche Cayman S, which offers stellar steering and quick reflexes, and the 650 horsepower Ford Shelby GT500.