October 25, 2014

Lotus Evora Long Term Test – MY12 Evora S IPS

Moving on from the Evora IPS to the MY12 S IPS was a good opportunity to remind myself of the many changes promised to the car last year. It was also nice to get back on summer tyres from the Yoko W-Drive’s which were starting to suffer from the warmer weather so the P-Zero Corsa’s were welcomed with open arms!

With all the upgrades focussed on the driver and making the car a more attractive ownership prospect you can’t fail to enjoy the experiences the MY12 has to offer. In the cabin, the new steering wheels is a pleasure to hold and looks very racy, much in line with the much nicer trim and contrast stitching seats which feel great, very grippy. With all the leather in the interior now sourced at a higher quality and the once silver metal surfaces now gunmetal the interior feels classier, more expensive and the red stitching on the dash is spot on, it all feels very ‘high end’. The black headlining makes the car feel larger inside new door seal just looks, well, neater than it’s predecessor as it should have been in the first place. One of the more important changes is that valved exhaust, standard on the S. Press the sport button and you’ll bypass much of the silencer and the throaty roar is a real pleasure, it does sound awesome and deletion of the 3rd Cat if it were my car (a common move now by owners) would only enhance this more. Stick Sport mode on, floor it flipping up through the gears with the paddles foot hard down, I challenge any petrolhead not to be delighted by this, it’s a great soundtrack now with a motorsport ‘crack’ on the change! All in, it works and lines the car more firmly into it’s price bracket; looking, sounding and feeling more like a supercar.

First impressions of the new Pioneer infotainment are much improved over the Alpine and after not much time it’s very clear it’s a superior system, shame it’s too complex to retrofit to earlier cars without a lot of work. The resolution of the screen is higher, giving a clearer output more suited to our HD world and the sound is superb with the addition of an extra sub and amplifier. It connects to the iPhone nicely within 10 seconds of turning on and calls/streaming music over bluetooth are seamless and easy. Listening to the iPod source you can control the music from the headunit or switch to ‘app’ and control it from the device, very neat  and the screen is sensitive enough to allow you to scroll up and touch with a flick. The satnav is excellent, if you program in your MPG it even tells you how much fuel will cost for the journey  although on arrival most of the time the with the built-in ‘eco-graph’ firmly planted in the red you’ll be told that there are way to save petrol! You can add your own shortcuts to the home screen and I’ve got ‘take me home’ and ‘cancel route’ on there which saves a lot of trouble hunting through menu’s, nice touch again. If I had to criticise, it’s the fact you have to clear the satnav warning screen by pressing ‘ok’ to some words I’ve never read each time the ignition is cycled. Other than that, like it a lot.

There are improvements to some of the bushes and overall geo which make the car better but to be fair, it stuck to the road like nothing else before. If anyone can improve on this it’s Lotus so I’ll trust them when they say it’s better! Moving up from an NA IPS I have noticed that with the extra power of the supercharger it’s easier to get the car to the limits and enjoy some movement under you as you press on but as I’ve always said about the Evora, the chassis is so good the car really compliments your skills as a driver and isn’t hard to drive well in ‘high G’ situations! The one downside of forced induction I’m reminded of is that MPG suffers. If this is because of the supercharger directly or because I like accelerating harder as it’s fun I don’t know but it means that usual run of the mill driving sees 12-14MPG on the display, a cross-country run 18-20 and a motorway cruise 22-25 at best. We spent a weekend in Dorset in the car, 500 miles of mainly motorways and cross-country and some town driving and being very careful the trip returned 22MPG overall though, so not bad for a 345bhp blown V6 in truth. A redesign on the sill made this journey that bit nicer too cutting down on wind noise which along with better sound system and improved door seals puts this as a great GT car.

At just over 8,000 miles this car is about ready for a new set of tyres on the rear and after sitting in the garage for a few days started up missing on a cylinder, rectified easily by turning it off and on again. A quick trip to my local dealer diagnosed this as a misfire on cylinder 6, they cleared the code and its not been back so we’ll chalk that up as a one-off.  There’s a hint of what feels like clutch slip on full throttle changes which is a feature of the gearbox that I’m used to now but other that than it’s been great to spend some time with the car. If the Evora came out like this back when launched it would have justified it’s price tag better but time and budgets back then didn’t allow it however if these raft of quality improvements are Bahar’s only legacy at Lotus then that’s not a bad thing for him.

The MY12 S IPS is a proper supercar now. It looks, feels, sounds and behaves in a supercar fashion and is a real pleasure to drive. Own one? I’d love to, this Evora will be the hardest so far to give back.

Evora S 2+2

£62,450

IPS

£1,800

Tech Pack

£2,800

Premium Sports Pack

£2,500

Power fold mirrors

£350

Reversing camera

£350

Heated seats

£350

Premium paint (Autumn Bronze)

£1,500

Diamond cut design wheel 19/20

£2,300

£74,400

Thanks to Kent Gliding Club for the location for these images. If you’re interested, a dozen of so TLF members are gliding there on the 5th July too and you’re welcome to join us, details here.

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