Drive - Lotus Evora Review | Catalog-cars

Drive – Lotus Evora Review

25 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive – Lotus Evora Review
Lotus Evora

Toby Hagon

Make Lotus Family Evora Series Type 122 MY2010 Year 2009 Doors 2 Seats 2 Transmission Manual Engine Configuration Description V60 Gear Num 6 Cylinders 6 Build Country Origin Description UNITED KINGDOM Car Size Sports Overall Green Star Rating 3.5 Fuel Type Description Petrol – Unleaded ULP Drive Description Rear Wheel Drive Warranty KM 100000

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A new Lotus doesn’t come around too often, so it’s no surprise that when another of the company’s sleek sports cars rolls out of Britain it gets some attention.

Since the arrival of the race-inspired Elise in the 1990s, Lotus has been tweaking its successful formula teaming a lightweight body with a proven four-cylinder engine.

But it’s taken until now for Lotus – owned by Malaysian brand Proton – to bring out what is the closest thing to an all-new model, the Evora.

Like other Lotuses, the Evora tempts with sleek styling, delivering on the mystique that, to some extent, defines the brand.

The Evora will be a rare sight on Australian roads, with only 30 to 40 cars available this year.

Price and equipment

The Evora is proof that spending 150 grand doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll get much in the way of fancy gear. Sure, there’s air-conditioning, leather seats, trip computer and power windows, as well as the obligatory alloy wheels, which are larger at the rear.

Cruise control? That’s part of the $8200 Tech Pack, which also brings things like a better sound system with touch-screen display and satellite navigation, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and a tyre pressure monitoring system with a digital display in the instrument cluster.

Similarly, while there’s some leather, full leather trim is part of the $7900 Premium Pack, which also has a classy interior-lighting package.

You even have to pay extra to get the most out of the Evora. A sportier, close-ratio six-speed manual costs $4800 (in place of the standard manual set up for saving fuel) and a Sport Pack, which introduces a button for sharper throttle response, a more playful stability-control setting and better brakes, is $3095.

If you’re not a fan of red or British racing green as a colour, then it’s between $2400 and $6400 for one of 19 premium paint finishes.

Even the rear seats – which help differentiate the Evora from Lotus’s other two-seater-only models – cost another $7000. Something that can’t be measured is the exclusivity and design that is undoubtedly part of the Evora’s appeal.

Under the bonnet

It may be one of the most exclusive British sports cars on the market but the Evora has a thoroughly mainstream engine in the form of Toyota’s 3.5-litre V6. Combined with the lightweight 1382-kilogram body, though, the retuned 206kW version of the engine used in the Aurion/RAV4/Kluger delivers above-average performance.

Acceleration to 100km/h is claimed to take 5.1 seconds (with the sports gearbox fitted to our car) and, indeed, the Evora accelerates enthusiastically with a raucous sound emanating from the rear.

But it’s the low-rev engine response that’s most impressive, with the wonderfully accessible torque available from as little as 1500rpm. It means you can leave it in fifth or even sixth gears when climbing hills. Or, if you’re having fun on a tight set of corners, you can leave it in third where ordinarily you might have gone for second.

That’s a bonus, because the six-speed manual (there’s no auto option) has a long-ish throw and is clunky in its operation; the pedals offset towards the left don’t help.

Being able to leave it in a taller gear also helps with fuel economy, which is respectable at a claimed 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres; we managed more than 12L/100km in a mix of driving.

How it drives

The Evora is surprisingly friendly around town, save for the poor rear vision that means you have to keep an eye on the mirrors or use the optional rear camera when parking.

Parking reinforces just how wide the Evora is over its rear haunches; by the time I’d snuggled it up to the gutter it was still sitting noticeably wider than a hatchback and compact 4WD either side.

It’s not until you tackle some twisties that the Evora’s reason for being becomes clear. Beautifully weighted steering constantly feeds information back to the driver, adding confidence and involvement to what is an immensely capable vehicle. Grip from the Pirelli tyres is high, while the meaty brakes deliver superb stopping power repeatedly.

The Evora also is poised regardless of what you throw at it, changing direction with pace and agility and sitting flat and secure through bends.

Lotus Evora

Suspension is refreshingly supple for a car with lap times in mind more than family duties. While large speed humps or steeper driveways need to be taken with care due to a propensity to scrape its underbelly, other road uglies are disposed of with respect and minimal fuss.

Comfort and practicality

Just like the outside, the interior of the Evora is a little bit different. Instead of a generic spread of gauges there’s a cluster of smaller instruments, with the speedo’s 30km/h increments making it less obvious when judging common limits such as 80km/h or 100km/h.

Inside there’s generous headroom, although rear vision is poor due to the tiny rear window above the engine. Forget shoe-horning an adult into the rear seats; it’s strictly child territory. The awkwardness involved in trying to access the switch for the electric mirrors is indicative of the ergonomic quirks of the Lotus.

The frameless doors don’t have the Germanic thud of an Audi; there’s a clang that’s in keeping with the general feeling that the Lotus doesn’t match rivals for that ultimate quality execution.

Safety

The Evora hasn’t been independently crash tested. The stylish exterior panels are made of lightweight plastic but the aluminium structure of the Evora is designed to stop intrusion into the cabin. Disappointingly, though, there are no side airbags with only twin front airbags on offer.

A stability control system is also standard.

AUDI TT RS

BMW M3

PORSCHE CAYMAN S

Price $146,000; Engine 3.4-litre horizontally-opposed 6-cyl, 235kW, 370Nm; Fuel use/CO2 emissions 9.6L/100km and 230g/km (man), 9.2L/100km and 221g/km (auto); Safety Four airbags, stability control; Pros Latest update brings decent equipment; great engine and option of slick twin-clutch auto; Cons Expensive options; strictly a two-seater; Our score Rating: 4/5 * Prices are recommended retail and exclude dealer and on-road costs.

Overall verdict

Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars

But while it has genuine sports car looks and (potentially) seating for four, it’s let down by minimal standard equipment and an expensive options list that means the Evora struggles against better performing competitors that also win on practicality.

Lotus Evora
Lotus Evora
Lotus Evora
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