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2011 Lotus Evora S (photos)

The naturally aspirated Lotus Evora launched last year, showing off the Lotus virtues of light weight and race car handling. This year, Lotus straps a supercharger onto the Evora's engine resulting in the Evora S, a car with considerably more torque then its predecessor.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Lotus added the Evora to its limited line-up last year, and this year brings on the Evora S variant, which uses a supercharger to up the power.
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2 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Similar to the Elise, the Evora S has over-the-top sports car styling. The Evora S uses mid-engine architecture, but there is no storage in front. The entire front of the car is designed to channel air through the grille and out the hood vents.
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3 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Lotus puts most of the weight in the rear, but the body is so rigid and the aerodynamics are designed such that the front never feels like it wants to lift.
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4 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
A small trunk at the rear of the car sits right behind the engine.
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5 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Lotus uses a 3.5-liter V-6 sourced from Toyota, but does its own engine programming. The Evora S also gets this supercharger, forcing induction through the engine.
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6 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The Evora S uses aluminum wishbones for the suspension front and back. The chassis is built in three parts, a central tub with front and rear subframes.
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7 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Brakes designed for the Evora S from AP Racing use four piston calipers and drilled rotors. They show excellent modulation and handle heat well.
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Lotus uses quality materials in the Evora S' cabin, with leather over the seats and wrapping the dashboard. But interiors are not Lotus' specialty, which shows in the fit and finish.
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The Evora S can be had as a two seater or in a 2+2 variation. With the latter, there is a small rear seat.
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The six-speed manual transmission comes from Toyota. It feels strong and Lotus geared it for the car, but shifting is rough.
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The Technology package adds this aftermarket Alpine infotainment unit, featuring navigation, iPod integration, and Bluetooth phone support.
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12 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The Evora S is very much in its element on the track, where drivers can exploit its acceleration and handling. During our preview drive, we put it through its paces at Laguna Seca.
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The supercharger gives the engine excellent and easy acceleration, with very useful torque.
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The Evora S feels heavier than the Elise, with a bit more body pull in the corners, but its rigid chassis structure keeps the car well-grounded.
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15 of 15 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
In hard cornering, the Evora S showed only a very slight tendency to slide the back end out, minimizing oversteer.

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