2010 Lotus Evora Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2009
FAST FACTS
  • The Lotus Evora is an all-new model for 2010
  • First all-new Lotus in more than a decade
  • World's only production mid-engine 2+2
  • 280-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant
  • Estimated 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds
  • Deliveries begin in spring 2009

Introduction

The uncompromising 2-seat Lotus Elise sports car has been on the market for more than a decade. Following its success, and adding a second model to the lineup, the British automaker Lotus has introduced an all-new 2+2 sports car set to debut at the British Motor Show in late July. Named the Evora, the car is designed for people who desire exotic sports car design and high performance. Unlike the raw driving experience of the roadster Elise (and platform-sharing Exige coup_), Evora offers comfortable real-world usability and passenger amenities. In similar fashion to most exotic sports cars, the Evora will be limited to just 2,000 units annually-adding exclusivity for those lucky enough to put one in their garage. According to Lotus, deliveries of the new model are scheduled for spring 2009.

Design

Styled in-house by Lotus Design, the Evora features sleek and sophisticated lines designed to maximize aerodynamics (Cd. of just .33) and disguise the vehicle's ability to accommodate two additional passengers in the rear of the cabin. Unmistakable as a Lotus, the Evora takes many design cues from the Exige coup_-and at first glance may often be mistaken for its smaller sibling. Like the Elise/Exige, the new coupe features a cab-forward design with elongated headlamps that sweep down the front quarter panels. The small hood is distinguished by two functional air vents, just in front of the base of the windshield, designed to bleed hot radiator air. The engine intake is located on the base of the B-pillar (in Ferrari-like fashion), keeping the muscular lines of the rear quarter panel intact. While the first vehicles will be coup_s, Lotus is planning convertible versions in the future.

The interior of the Evora surrounds occupants with sumptuous leather surfaces and high-technology appointments. The climate-controlled cockpit is driver-centric, with flush-mounted controls illuminated by the blue glow from LED lamps. Hip-hugging sport seats, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel, offer more than a suggestion of speed and sport even before the engine is started. Customers will have the option of 2+2 seating (with ISOFIX mountings for a child seat), or to have Lotus configure the sports car as a true 2-seater while leaving the space behind the front seats for luggage and storage.

Hardware

Designed as a sports car from inception, the new Evora is said to lap Germany's famed N�rburgring faster than the Lotus Elise thanks to its race-bred suspension and Toyota-sourced (and modified) 3.5-liter V-6 engine. With dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i), the engine is rated at 280 hp and 252 lb.-ft. of torque. With a lightweight aluminum chassis, the engine's power is strong enough to propel the new Lotus to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, towards a top speed in excess of 155 mph. Despite the high performance of the vehicle, according to Lotus the Evora will achieve combined-cycle fuel economy ratings in excess of 30 mpg. All models receive traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes. A tire-pressure monitoring system is also standard.

Technology

Lotus has partnered with Alpine to fit the Evora with a cutting-edge in-car entertainment and navigation system. Centered on a 7-inch touch screen, the multi-media system boasts advanced audio, satellite navigation, and Bluetooth hands-free operations. In addition, it is compatible with iPod and MP3 formats. The screen doubles to serve as a display for the reversing camera, if the customer chooses that option. The Alpine audio system uses innovative IMPRINT and MultiEQ sound-enhancement technology to cancel out imbalances in the cabin (echoes from window glass, carpets absorbing mid-range frequencies, etc.) to deliver crisp, clear and undistorted sound.
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