Details are in on the new offering by Lotus called the Evora. In an effort to attract a wider pool of potential consumers, the Evora will have a level of luxury not available in the Elise or Exige; mainly more room and more weight. The result is a car that is, according to Lotus, suitable as an everyday toy and not just a weekend racer.
The basic layout, however, is the same. A mid-engine and relatively lightweight car (only 2976 pounds). The Evora will be offered either as a true two-seater or with a 2+2 seating arrangement, though very few 2+2 cars actually can carry anyone over 2. Hey maybe that’s what the disignation means! Like the Elise and Exige, the engine is from Toyota. In this case, a3.5-liter V-6 with variable valve timing, tuned to produce 276 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. Estimates are for the car reach 60 mph in less than five seconds and a top speed around 160 mph.
According to Lotus engineers, the Evora should have handling that is comparable to the Elise, though perhaps with all of the extra comforts a little more subdued. That said, the Evora rides on Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs, so performance should still be superb. Lotus rounds out the features list with anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control.
Some of the interior luxuries include air conditioning, leather seating, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a backup camera, LED lighting, remote garage door opener and a navigation system.
As a further concession to practicality (gasp), the Evora even has a rear-mounted trunk that’s supposed to fit a set of golf clubs. Because it’s mounted behind the engine, the trunk is cooled to stop engine heat from melting cargo.
Lotus says it will be another six months before the Evora is available for test drives. The Evora will go on sale in spring 2009, starting in Europe, with only 2000 to be built per year unless demand warrants adding a second shift at the Hethel, England, plant. The expectation is that the U.S. will receive the Evoralater next year as a 2010 models.
The car is the first of three new models Lotus promises as part of a five-model business plan to expand sales. It is the first all-new addition to the lineup since 1995.