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Lotus Evora

A riot to drive, but not particularly practical.

The Lotus Evora received several updates for 2012 but arrives in 2013 mostly unchanged. The Evora is the only sports car that British automaker Lotus sells in the U.S., as the more-hard-core Elise and Exige no longer meet federal safety regulations. Compared with those models, the Evora is a roomier, more comfortable, and more usable sports car. That’s not to say it isn’t still an altar for enthusiastic drivers: outstanding driver feedback, sublime handling, and spot-on driving dynamics all come standard. A mid-mounted, Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V-6 provides 276 hp in the Evora; tacking on a supercharger helps the Evora S put out 345 hp. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. An optional six-speed automatic includes steering-wheel-mounted paddles, but Lotus purists should stick with the manual. Standard equipment is pretty much limited to such things as power windows, keyless entry, and air-conditioning; options include touch-screen navigation, a backup camera, heated seats, and seven different wheel designs. The Evora can be specified as a two-seater with a small bench behind the driver’s seat (designated 2+0 in Lotus parlance) or as a two-plus-two with tiny rear seats (designated 2+2). The Evora is certainly a thrilling car on road or track, but Lotus sports cars are rarely easy to live with day-to-day.

COMPETITORS

Audi TT RS

BMW M3

Chevrolet Corvette

Porsche Cayman

new for 2013

The Intelligence Performance Shift automatic transmission can now be optioned on cars with the supercharged engine.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front air bags, stability and traction control, and ABS are standard.

MPG

CITY 17–20

HWY 26–28

PRO

Excellent steering and handling

Looks, goes, and stops like a sports car

CON

Still not that practical

Disappointing transmissions

Base Price Range: $68,000–$80,000 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Evora 2+0, Evora 2+2, Evora S 2+0, Evora S 2+2

BODY STYLE: Coupe, 2- or 2+2 passenger

ENGINES: 3.5L V-6, 276 hp, 258 lb-ft

3.5L supercharged V-6, 345 hp, 295 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: N/A

CARGO SPACE: (trunk/behind front seats) 6.0/23.0 cu ft

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