The Lotus Evora: 2+2 with Two Doors:
The Lotus Evora, which debuted in 2009 as a 2010 model, is what sports car aficionados (especially Europeans) call a "2+2." This two-door exotic car body style has two doors but enough seats for four people: two in the front, plus two in the back. The back seats aren't usually very usable by actual people, and this holds true for the Lotus Evora, too. But it's a big step in the practicality direction for Lotus, and the British car maker's first all-new model since the introduction of the Elise roadster in 1995. So they were due. See images in the Lotus Evora gallery.
Pounds per Horsepower and Miles per Gallon:
The Lotus claim to fame has always been a small but sprightly engine housed inside a small, featherweight chassis. The 275-hp Lotus Evora continues in this vein, with a mid-mounted 3.5-liter, V6 engine using variable-valve timing and a six-speed manual transmission. What gets Lotus-lovin' hearts racing, though, is the car's total weight of about 3000 pounds. That's a mere 11 pounds per horsepower, which translates to 0-62 mph times of 5 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph. Oh, and a combined fuel economy of 32 mpg. All this speed and green goodness is inside the largest Lotus on the road, with the largest engine.
Design and Tech:
In a car so light and small, aerodynamics and downforce played a big part in the design, as did the desire to keep an aggressive, sporty look for the Lotus Evora, even in 2+2 configuration (the car can be had without the two rear seats). But in bringing a small, powerful Lotus to the masses, usability had to be a bigger piece of the design pie this time. For instance, the door sills were lowered to ease entry and exit from the sport seats, and the rear trunk is cooled to keep anything you put back there from melting, as it's mounted just behind the motor. The whole package sits on 18-inch front wheel and 19-inch rear.
Interior and Options:
Again in the quest for new customers, the Lotus Evora's interior has been upgraded from race-ready, go-cart styling to something approaching luxury, like the hand-stitched leather seating surfaces. A Tech pack adds an Alpine multi-media system with a 7-inch screen, which is also used by the back-up camera. A Premium pack loads the interior with leather, while a Sport pack kicks the Evora into track-toy mode, with enhanced throttle response and RPM limit, sports traction control mode, cross-drilled brake disks, engine oil cooler, and more. Niceties like ABS, TPMS, brake force distribution, and more are standard.
Right out of the gate, the Lotus Evora was available as a special edition. The first 450 Evoras to roll off the assembly line were dubbed the "Launch Edition," and they came with every optional package installed, plus your choice of standard Ardent Red or British Racing Green paint. (Dozens of other colors are available for any Evora, but shades like Laser Blue and Ice White will add a bit to the invoice.) Lotus plans to hand-build fewer than 2000 Evoras per year, making it exclusive but not rare. With a base price around $80,000, it's one of the least expensive exotic cars on the market.