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The Lotus Evora

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By all accounts, the Lotus Evora is a stunning dynamics achievement. Here are the introductory remarks for this car in evo's 2009 Car of the Year issue (#138):

Hats off to Lotus. With some aluminum, some glue a pal in the Toyota parts department and a budget that wouldn't cover the rear cupholder assembly on the 7-series, it has built something that can outdrive a Cayman. Other car companies have spent hundreds of millions singularly failing to achieve that goal, and yet little Lotus manages it without apparently breaking a sweat.

The Evora is something quite unlike any other sports car on sale in the UK, in that it refuses to acknowledge the sacrifices and compromises that have somehow become acceptable in recent years. At the centre of this lies the relationship between ride, steering and roadholding -- traditional areas of excellence for Lotus.

On UK roads, no other sports car isolates its occupants from the road surface like the Evora. It would be tempting to compare its supple, level ride tot that of an executive saloon, the only trouble with that definition being this: it's hard to think of an executive saloon that rides as well as an Eovra. This car reminds us that comfort and enjoyment are mutually compatible: that the predilection for hard springs and unyielding dampers is, was and always will be a nonsense.

There is only one question mark hanging over the new Lotus: is its powertrain worthy of what is otherwise a world-class package? We certainly thought so back in June when it beat its closest rival, the Cayman S. NOt, it needs to topple, among others, the GT3. Should be worth watching.

And for the record, Lotus has come up with a series of modifications for the Evora's engine that increase its power by at least a third. They plan on creating a One Design race class with these mods. I'm near certain that many of these modifications will find their way into Evora updates in the near future, as well showing the way to aftermarket concerns that focus on Lotus models. (Another huge plus: the Evora's mid-engine chassis was designed so that it could accept a larger engine (the +2s would be removed and the engine would sit longitudinally.) Rumor has it that Lotus is considering either the V8 from the Lexus IS-F or a mainstream version of the Lexus LFA's V10, which is a masterpiece. The resulting car would be the new Lotus Espirit -- two amazing cars off of one incredible, low-budget chassis.)

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