The 2014 Lotus Evora is offered in two layouts--as a 2-seater coupe, or as a 2+2 coupe--and in either standard Evora or top-performance Evora S guise. While 2+2 models don't have enough space for adults in back, they do have two seating spaces that can double as storage space.
The Evora is built on a bonded aluminum structure, with a mid-engine layout. There's a double-wishbone front and rear suspension with Eibach springs, front and rear anti-roll bars and hydraulic power steering.
An electromechanical limited-slip differential helps provide traction out of tight corners and under power, while there's also an electronic stability control system and anti-lock braking with Brake Assist to complement the 4-wheel vented disc brakes. Cast alloy wheels (18-inch in front and 19-inch in back) wheels with Pirelli P-Zero performance tires are standard.
All versions of the Evora are powered by a 3.5L Toyota-derived V6; but the engine makes 276 horsepower in the Evora and, with the help of a supercharger, 345 hp in the Evora S. While the Evora can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds and hit a top speed of 163, the Evora S can get to 60 in just 4.4 seconds and to a top speed of 178 mph. Fuel efficiency is the same on either model, though, with quite impressive EPA ratings of up to 19 mpg city, 28 highway.
Evora S models have a few key differences from Evora models. There's a more aggressive rear diffuser, black wing mirror caps and rear light surrounds, as well as an active exhaust system for a sportier sound. A Sports Pack is standard on the Evora S and optional on the Evora, offering multiple modes that allow sharper throttle response, a higher rev limit and intrusive stability control intervention.
On either version of the Evora, you can now get a 6-speed automatic Intelligent Precision Shift 6-speed automatic gearbox. The automatic has four different modes, ranging from normal to aggressive and completely controlled by the steering-wheel paddle-shifters, and the transmission will do rev-matched downshifts with a throttle blip--assuring that the car's composure won't be upset during high-performance driving.
Standard features on the base Evora include keyless entry, air conditioning, Recaro sport seats, a center console with covered storage and a 4-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary input.
There's plenty of room for options on the Evora, and most extras are grouped into packages. A Technology Pack adds parking sensors, cruise control and an Alpine navigation system with 6.1-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, HD Radio compatibility, iTunes tagging, and SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility. A Premium Pack adds heated leather seats, accent lighting, leather-trimmed footwell panels and leather for the center armrest. There are several other appearance-oriented packages (a Black Pack, Premium Pack Sport and Premium Suedetex Pack), while standalone-option highlights include a back-up camera and power folding mirrors.
The Lotus Evora GT is not perfect. Yet we wouldn't change a thing. In a time when the Ferraris and Lamborghinis and McLarens of the world have to be fast and accommodate the delicate needs of privileged rich people who are just livin' life for the 'Gram, the Evora GT eschews any sort of pampering to wholeheartedly focus on one thing: driving.
The Evora nails all of the things that make sports cars great. It's got hyper-accurate steering that's not only perfectly weighted, but clearly telegraphs exactly what's happening where the tires meet the road. The wheel itself is made of magnesium, and kind of reverberates in your hand a bit, and the old-school hydraulic setup reminds you how great steering could be before the days of electric assist.
This amazing steering feel is largely thanks to the chassis tuning, which is arguably the Evora GT's single greatest attribute. Bilstein dampers use Eibach springs, and the amount of grip available at all four corners is remarkable. The chassis beautifully conveys even the smallest road surface details up through the steering, as well as the seat of your pants. This all makes it easier to drive the Evora GT faster, to push it harder than you otherwise might. The amount of confidence this car inspires in its driver cannot be understated.
The Good ~ Supercharged V6 is dynamite ~ Some of the best chassis tuning available anywhere ~ Ditto the steering
The Bad ~ $96,000 is a lot of money for such a focused machine ~ Some lackluster interior materials ~ Tech? Ha!
The Bottom Line The Lotus Evora GT is one of the world's purest sports cars, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
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