An updated version of Lotus' evergreen sports car will have to hold us over until the Evija all-electric hypercar.
Chris PaukertFormer executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015.
Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
The future of Lotus is the recently revealed Evija, a seven-figure, all-electric hypercar that promises supernatural performance and outrageous looks. In the meantime, the plucky little British sports car manufacturer isn't exactly shooting blanks. Just revealed and priced is this 2020 Lotus Evora GT, the fastest and most-powerful street-legal car from the brand ever to hit the US.
The 2020 Lotus Evora GT is yet another distillation of the company's tiny mid-engined sports car, an evergreen offering that's been on sale since the 2010 model year. Powered by a retuned version of the familiar Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V6, the car's powertrain is good for 416 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a paddle-shifter-equipped automatic with as many speeds is a $2,700 option (the latter receives a slight torque boost to 332 pound-feet). Despite its modest torque deficit, Lotus says the manual model remains slightly quicker, wearing an estimated a 0-60 mph time in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 188 mph.
2020 Lotus Evora GT is an aging, 188-mph British missile
Starting at $96,950, this model, which stands in as a replacement for the Evora 400 and 410, also features revised aerodynamics for improved downforce, as well as special lightweight components. The Evora GT features a new rear diffuser that bookends the front end's aggressive splitter.
On all Evora GT models, the front fenders, rear bumper, vents, and bucket-seat shells are all made of carbon fiber. Pay a cool $10,000 extra, and you can have the roof, diffuser, rear hatch and door sills rendered in the pricy lightweight weave, too. An optional titanium exhaust that cuts 22 pounds from the GT's underbelly, but it'll also cut $8,000 from your bank account. With all of the lightweighting options fitted, Lotus says this car weighs just 3,104 pounds -- 71 pounds less than the Evora 400.
As with many previous Evora models, the GT is offered in both two-seat and 2+2 configurations, but the latter isn't really good for much beyond padded storage and (maybe) an insurance discount.