October 31, 2014

Lotus Evora Long Term Test – Day after day…

…after day after day. That’s what I’m finding this car is quite handy for. Yes, it’s a performance car and yes when you want to go really fast you can but when you want to pop to the shops, when you want to nip to see a friend it’s very, very easy to jump in the Evora and just drive it. I know it’s a car and that’s what cars are for but with a performance car sometimes it’s not ideal for these sort of journeys as it’s often too much like hard work making sure you warm the car properly before revving too high, it’s too much hard work getting in an out of, it’s too noisy, it’s too impractical to carry anything of volume. The Evora isn’t. It’s easy to jump in and turn the key and drive, it’s comfortable and it’s easy to drive thanks to the light steering and well documented ride quality. Luggage space isn’t amazing but it is usable and the back seats offer more room if needed but really this car has taken over as my true, every day driver. You see in the pictures that the wheels are dirty, that the car isn’t pristine and that’s because although it gets a weekly wash, it gets dirty from being used so much.

This month (along with visiting Tesco’s) I’ve been making sure that on a journey of any distance I’ve been selecting Sport mode a few minutes into the trip and exploring a little more of what the car has to offer, and indeed what it’s about. Sport mode removes the understeer recognition, raises the traction slip thresholds, the ESP interaction is later which allows more yaw angle in the car prior to stabilisation. Basically the car starts to give some of the control back to the driver but not all of it, the system will still stabilise the car when necessary but there is more freedom. ABS remains a constant calibration throughout all settings. Also the sport mode changes the throttle calibration making it more responsive and makes for a more involving drive, the car feels more urgent and from a drivers perspective, faster and more eager. From reading the forums I’m guessing most Evora owners spend most of their time in Sport mode and I can see for why, it does make sense and the car much more lively. The consensus is that it’s best to see some movement on the water temp gauge before switching Sport on to make sure everything in the engine is ready before asking for and using the extra fun available through this setting. There is another button just above Sport which is the ‘ESP Off’ button which can be used with or without Sport and this turns the DPM system entirely off, no under/oversteer protection so no ESP yaw control and you can drift the car at whatever angles you fancy without interruption. An important button on a Lotus and it’s important that the cars retain this to keep their appeal to people who enjoy driving for pleasure and performance.

I’ve had the Blackbird unit inside the Alpine replaced which had lead to a more consistent performance and I can now use it for Bluetooth phone calls without errors which is good. Also this month a sticky lock pin on the passenger door meant leaning across to open up however a small spray of WD-40 has fixed this and saved a trip to the garage for the car. Warranty or not, sometimes some common sense saves some time and effort for everyone. A lot of reviews of the Evora point to the interior and it’s fit/finish and general appointment but personally, I thinks it’s a great cabin. You open the door and there’s a lovely smell of leather, certainly not resin and I’ve not seen a single problem with any of the quality and fit of the whole cabin. If you wanted to be really, really picky you could be as there’s a slight ripple in the leather, about 5mm long and 2mm wide on the passenger door and there’s a piece of plastic on the door by the vent hole that doesn’t line up 100% which you can only notice this is the door is open and you’re viewing it from in front of the door, a position you’re more than likely never to be in. You’ve got to be looking, and looking hard to notice and in real terms you can’t see them so it doesn’t detract from the experience even a little bit, it’s akin to worrying about dirty suspension components every time you take the car for a drive in my opinion, the interior is very much up to standard and I’m very happy with it from a comfort, appeal and ergonomics perspective. It would be nice to have a headlight tell tale on the dash though, it can be hard to spot if the lights are still on in daylight from the circumferentially lit aluminium buttons which do light up, albeit dimly unless it’s dark.

I’ve got the Evora until early September and I will be writing another article on my final month with this car. It is going to be replaced, do you know what with?

Initial Mileage 13,407
Current Mileage 14,425 – Miles covered 1,018
Fuel Costs (UK) £254.00
MPG 25.18
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