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Conceived as a more practical car than its other offerings, Lotus introduced the Evora in 2009 as a competitor to the Porsche Cayman. The Evora is Lotus’s first all-new car since the introduction of the Elise in 1995, and keeps the Lotus tradition of naming models starting with the letter “E”. “Evora” is an acronym of evolution, vogue, and aura.
The Evora’s design was a tough proposition: to create a car that handles the way a proper Lotus should, but add more creature comforts, make it easier to enter and exit, and to offer 2+2 seating. In fact, until the introduction of BMW’s i8, this was the only 2+2 mid-engined car on the market. Lotus engineers had to fit 2 rows of seats and a Toyota-sourced V6 on a wheelbase of only 101 inches (about the same as that of a 2017 Toyota Prius C subcompact). The model seen here has the “Plus Zero” option, in that the rear seat has been deleted. The Evora utilizes a composite roof as a stressed structural member to give the vehicle exceptional stiffness, thanks in part to the seatbelt mounting points’ secondary function as a roll cage.
Fully optioned, the Evora S comes dangerously close to Porsche 911 territory. In return, you get a car that is hard to take seriously as a daily driver. But, it’s far more exclusive than the 911, and offers as many quirks as thrills to a serious driver.
Manufacturer: Lotus Cars Ltd.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Drivetrain Configuration: Mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5 litre Toyota-sourced V-6, Australian Horrop supercharger, 345hp
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Top Speed: 172 MPH
Years of Production: 2009-present
Number Produced: 1,500
Original Cost: $78,600 (base), $86K (loaded)