November 1, 2014

Lotus Evora Long Term Test – A month of Evora-ing!

I’ve driven supercars for some time, I’ve owned Esprits for over a decade so am used to cars which corner well. At least I used to think so… hasn’t technology moved on!

In the month I’ve had the Evora I’ve had the chance to cover the better part of 3,000 miles so far which has been fun. A trip to Wales the first weekend I had the car allowed it to experience heavy rain (!) and it didn’t leak which is good. In fact, it’s composure in very heavy rain and standing water is very good, certainly in part thanks to the DPM I’d imagine making me feel like I’m doing all the work keeping the car on line. I’ve also been on an 850 mile round trip to France for the 24 Heures du Mans and due to accommodation problems the car was my home for a weekend, it coped admirably with that too (although I appreciate not everyone will use the car as a mobile hotel room!) It’s been my everyday car since picking it up, as my Esprit was beforehand so I’ve been able to use the car in a lot of the normal situations anyone else would in the time so far.

First impressions? Accessibility. No, not the ease of getting in and out but the accessibility of the car’s performance. It’s a very competent motorway cruiser, even more so now my cruise control is working but once you’re off the motorway and on the roads the Evora was made for you realise that it’s very easy to drive the car very fast and use it properly when appropriate. The ride is out of this world as the awards from the major magazines attests to, your connection to the road is ethereal but also you don’t have to avoid every bump for fear of the car sounding like it’s dismantling itself or fear of being spat on to a new line mid-corner. It eats up those imperfections in the road and absorbs them, leaving the stuff you want to feel coming through the steering wheel and seat to you giving you the feedback you want without the harshness of ride that small platform Lotus cars can deliver on the limit. It’s a clever car like that, all the fun without the consequences, nice eh!

With regards the cruise control, an over-sensitive sensor on the clutch pedal used to disengage the cruise was turning the system off at the slightest pedal movement, including small movements caused by bumps in the road. My constant attempts to re-engage eventually lead to the ECU showing an error (spanner on the dash – non-emissions related fault) and disabling the cruise but it was a 15 minute fix for the garage to swap the switch out, warranty work of course. Other than that I’ve not had any problems to date although I will join in with most owners and say that the Alpine unit fitted until recently is dire! Rest assured, it’s been superseded but why it ever made it’s way into a car at this level is hard to fathom. Initially, bluetooth was fine and it did what it said on the tin but somehow it switched to saying ‘int’ on the display and any phone calls or satnav instructions were silent, I’m guessing I activated some ‘int’ernal speaker which I couldn’t deactivate and that’s not for lack of trying! A removal of the removable satnav unit which hides behind the display (why?) and 5 resets later it’s back on track but only yesterday a Windows error screen welcomed me into the car! I’m glad this unit is no longer in the car although in its defence, it does sound good and plays/charges an iPhone without too much fuss, pulling in playlists/album art etc.

Going back to the finer points, the next thing that deserves a mention after the ride is the braking. The brakes are urgent, excellent feel on the pedal and certainly no fade that I’ve noticed (although I’ve not been on track yet). 60-0 is 2.4 seconds and you literally hang in the seatbelt it brings you up that quickly. The ABS isn’t intrusive and is a huge improvement over any system ever fitted to an Esprit without doubt so certainly a major step forward as far as my experience of supercars in concerned. The tyres also are perfect for the job and although you can tease some noise out of them at times they offer exactly as much grip as you like, again they work as expected with no surprises, what you’re after really.

All in all, it’s been nice to enjoy the car and a pleasure to drive. I’ve spent probably 20% of the time with ‘Sport’ on which is a real eye opener in terms of acceleration at least but certainly not required for normal driving. It’s there for the moments when you want that extra performance and the speed of the engine pickup can be a surprise from the lights, lucky the redline is raised (!) but in traffic and mundane getting about it’s certainly wasted and easier to be in the normal mode. I guess this is precisely what the Sport mode is for though, it’s just good to have it there!

This month has been about getting to know the car, becoming familiar with it and enjoying it for what it is. I hope over the next few weeks I’ll be spending more time exploring the cars limits, hopefully out on track too and will consciously spent more time in Sport and will also use the car with the DPM features turned off. I’ve surprised myself by having it on pretty much all the time, and coming from an non-everything Esprit I think it’s because it’s been nice to get to know a new car with what feels like a safety net under you. Now I’m comfortable with the car it’s time to enjoy it even more.

If there’s anything you would like to see us try or do with the Evora just let us know in the comments. The car lives in the garage with the Esprit or in the drive so it’s always accessible for these things and I’m happy to help out if/when I can. I’ve also taken it to a couple of events so far, such as Le Mans, Supercar Sunday at Gaydon and our regular Kent meet at Brands Hatch so it’s out and about if you want to come see it, have a sit and press some buttons. This month we’ll be at the Kent meet again, Goodwood FoS, Newlands Corner Breakfast meet, the Uxbridge Auto Show and it will be at our TLF Photography Tutorial day, details of these events are on our forums.

Initial Mileage 10,476
Current Mileage 13,407 – Miles covered 2,931
Fuel Costs (UK) £764.00
MPG 23.54

23.54 MPG over the month which included a fair few motorway miles but 75% in town or A/B roads and lots of red line changes enjoying and showing off the car.

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Comments

  1. Nice write up Bibs, can I borrow her for the weekend please ? Would love to give it a comparative/alternative write up.

  2. Even against the Evora, the Esprit still looks good!


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