In contrast to the high-revving four-cylinder engines used in Lotus' flyweight Elise, the Evora has a Toyota-sourced, 3.5-liter V-6. Larger, heavier and more expensive than the Elise, the Evora roughly competes in price and performance with the Porsche 911. The Evora is Lotus' first modern attempt at a daily driver, with options such as a two-passenger backseat, a navigation system and a backup camera.
New for 2011
Non-S models gain an available automatic transmission.
Though it bears a passing resemblance to the Exige and Elise, the Evora weighs about 1,000 pounds more than either sibling. Lotus says the car was designed to be a better daily driver than the Exige or Elise, with larger doors, narrower doorsills and a 2.5-inch higher seating position. Still, the Evora looks like a racecar. A low, broad nose extends far beyond the front wheels, while the rear wheels sit comparatively closer to the rear bumper. In back, a spoiler joins the taillights, though it's far smaller than the Exige's massive wing.
The engine, mounted behind the backseat, sends exhaust out two central pipes directly below the license plate. The Evora's rear wheels measure 19 inches in diameter, and the front wheels measure 18 inches.
In contrast to the sparse cabin in the Elise, the Evora's cabin offers a leather-covered dashboard with genuine aluminum accents. Front and center is an Alpine 7-inch touch-screen, which controls the iPod-compatible stereo, navigation system and optional backup camera. A full-leather interior, with cowhide spanning more surfaces, is optional. Heated power seats and automatic climate control are unavailable, as those features would add weight and diminish the Evora's performance, Lotus says.
The automaker says the Evora's front seats can accommodate two 6-foot-6-inch adults, and the 5.7-cubic-foot trunk can hold a full set of golf clubs. The rear seats, however, are intended for kids.
Under the Hood
Technically behind the backseat rather than under the hood, the Evora's 3.5-liter V-6 engine comes from Toyota. It makes 276 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. It is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Lotus says the Evora hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 162 mph.
Antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system come standard.