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How My Search Ended up Focusing on the Evora


Ccd

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I tend to be a bit of a planner.  Long before my car is to be paid off, I wondered whether it made sense to hold pat or move onto something different.  So I began the search my options and how attractive they might be.  The search has mostly focused on used cars as I wanted to minimize the loss in value over time.  There were requirements, the car had to fit a cart style golf bag and have to be involving to drive at any speed.  And then there were preferences: manual transmission and mid-engined.

The first to come off the list was anything made by Lambo, Ferrari or McLaren.  Cars of those makes that I could afford would be too old and the maintenance too high or just plain to hard to anticipate.  I wanted something newer and with reasonable maintenance costs.

The Audi R8 fits the bill for reasonable maintenance costs (if you are careful), at least relative to most exotic brands.  And the last gen R8 V10 with a gated manual transmission has a special place in my heart.  But there were two issues.  The first was the ridiculously small amount of storage space in the thing.  Audi claims you can get to golf bags on the shelf behind the seats, but I’ve seen that shelf and I am VERY dubious of that claim.  Plus it would be a PITA to put my bag in and out of such a small space.  The other issue was depreciation, or rather the lack thereof.  Everyone else seems to love the last gen R8 with the manual and used car prices reflect that.  The R8 dropped off the list.

So what is left?  The most intriguing possibility is the current gen NSX.  The depreciation gods have not been kind at all to this car.  Down the road, I expect this car will have the biggest potential upside in terms of value.  The trunk is small, but it fits a cart style golf bag, just not much else.  Maintenance should be reasonable by exotic car standards.  Right now, I’m just waiting to see where the steep depreciation on this car rolls off.  

There is always Porsche and the 991.2  911 with the turbo engine is attractive.  The issue with Porsche is lack of depreciation making a used Porsche an expensive proposition.   To give an example, prices for a used 2017 991.2 GTS equal the used prices for some 2017 NSXs!  Then there is the fact that it is the default sports/GT car everyone gets.  On the plus side, there is plenty of room behind the seats for a golf bag and it can be had with a manual.  But it just isn’t a car I can get excited about.

So what is left?  Just the Evora.  The depreciation gods have not been kind to it, which makes their values as used cars attractive.  The trunk of the Evora is not large, but the rear seating area makes up for that.  There are likely to be minor issues with the car based on hanging around here (fit and finish issues), but the major systems appear to be sound.  By all accounts, the car is a hoot to drive and it comes with a manual.  Lastly, while I’ve seen stiff depreciation of 2017s in the first couple of years, it appears that Evoras depreciate into the $40-$60k range and don’t drop much from there.  As cars are readily available now in the $70k range, my bet is that the depreciation curve on the Evora will flatten out quite a bit at around the 3-4 year mark.  I keep looking at other cars, but I always end up coming back to the Evora.  It is the car I most want to test drive, unfortunately the closest dealership is around 150 miles from me and would require a special trip, but that day will come.

So the decision right now appears to be hold my TT RS or opt for the Evora which is more practical and less expensive than the NSX.  I’ve sat in an Evora 400, but did not have time to drive one.  Next time I get to a Lotus dealership, a test drive will be in order.  

 

 

T

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For some reason, I already thought you had one @Ccd.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

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Champale:

I have not driven any 991s either, but I did drive a 2009 997 Carrera S when I was deciding on cars the last time and was not impressed.  The 991.2 with the turbo engine should provide the mid-range torque that was missing from the 997 and is so handy in everyday driving.

My TT RS is a weekend car and I have averaged about 6,000 mi/yr.  It is my “golf” car which it does brilliantly is you keep the useless rear seats folded down.  It is also our travel car when we go on trips.  I absolutely hate our KIA SUV on road trips.  The TT RS rides better and provides me with much better control on the road.

Any replacement for my. TT RS would have to be a good golf car and be a good road car.  Realistically, that means either a Porsche or the Lotus.  I frankly think that Lotus provides far more car for the money than the Porsche, particularly on the used market.   With the closest Lotus dealership so far from me, there is little incentive to buy a new Lotus or even one that is still under warranty.  And I live in the greater Washington, DC area!  We had a dealership here, but it closed just before the Evora 400 reached US shores.

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LotusLeftLotusRig:

The closest Lotus dealerships to me are either in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Princeton, New Jersey which is north of Philadelphia.  Not exactly a good situation for anyone in my area wanting to test drive a Lotus.  Ferrari, Lambo, and McLaren are all in this area, but not Lotus.

I can understand why no one took over after my local dealership closed: who wants to be a dealer for a car maker with just one car for sale???

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This is an interesting thread for me, because I made a similar move. I have owned two TTS's (with a gap between), the first one manual, the second was an auto. All I have to say is the Evora is in a different league altogether. Obviously the RS has more power than the S, but other than that they're very similar cars. So that you're aware, I've gone from a Mk2 TTS to an S1 NA Evora.

While I owned the TT's I always felt like they were a good compromise between a practical car and a sports car - they had a surprising amount of room in the boot, were pretty comfortable and were quicker than most things on the road. The problem was, I always felt they were a bit emotionless - the four wheel drive makes it fun to just plant your foot mid corner and get dragged out of it, but ultimately I always felt like the car was doing most of the work for me. Being a turbocharged engine there was plenty of torque when on boost, but it faded massively towards the redline, and I ended up getting a bit bored of the lack of excitement at the top end. It was actually when I bought my motorbike that I started craving a naturally aspirated car again, that feeling of it pulling all the way to the limiter is so much more exciting than low down torque in my opinion. I still like the TT, but I don't miss it. Evo magazine described the TT as "effective rather than exciting" which I agree with - it'll go quickly, but you don't feel that involved. Anyway, here's my thoughts on the two.

 

Where the Evora wins:

Steering: As soon as I drove the Evora my eyes were opened. The amount of steering feel was one of the first things I noticed - with the TT you turned the wheel and knew roughly what the wheels were doing, but you couldn't really feel anything through them. The Evora has a much sharper rack, and you get a whole lot more feedback when driving.

Suspension and chassis: The TTS had adaptive ride, which initially I loved, but have since come to despise in modern cars. The normal mode was fine, sport mode killed body roll but was far too hard for British roads so rarely got used. Lotus have a different way of doing it - rather than just make the suspension ridiculously stiff so you don't get body roll, they allow a bit of roll so you can feel what the car is doing, and also have a reasonable amount of comfort. Turning into corners you feel like you have so much control over the car. The TTS had good traction, but ultimately wasn't controllable in the corner - if you went in too fast it just understeered, the Evora on the other hand is beautifully balanced and gives so much confidence. A lot of people on here say that the Evora rides better than an executive saloon etc, but I'd have to disagree there - maybe my car is firmer than theirs or something, but the Evora definitely has a pretty firm ride. That's not a criticism - a sports car should have sports suspension, and while it's been fine for all of the journeys I've done, don't expect a Rolls Royce.

Engine: As I mentioned earlier, this was always a bugbear for me with the TTS - it pulled well at first but didn't have much character, and especially lacked an exciting exhaust note. (It seems the UK is full of 4 cylinder, turbo charged VAG engines which all make that stupid parp as they change gear). This will be less of an issue for you because the 5 cylinder is a much nicer engine both in power and sound, but the Evora 400 still sounds better to me, and will pull to the redline. 

Desirability: I like the design of the TT, and still think it looks like a cool car, but the Evora is head and shoulders above it. I didn't buy the car to get looks, but there's no denying that it's a head turner. I got fewer negative comments than I expected when I had the TT - just a couple of 'hairdresser's car' or 'golf in a frock' comments, but on the whole most people quite liked it. On the other hand, the Evora has only had positive comments - people are desperate to sit in it or have a ride, and the only negative comment I've had so far is my mum saying 'it's a bit ugly isn't it', but she never has anything nice to say about my cars, so we can all ignore that. I've taken it to a couple of local car shows, and both times I was asked if I would display it as I went to pull in to the public car park, I definitely wouldn't have got that in the TT.

 

Where the TT wins:

Practicality: I regularly pick up the weekly shop in the Evora, and have a car seat for my 10 month old son which fits in the back, as well as a pram that fits in the boot, but we were very limited in options when it came to choosing those. In comparison, the TT could easily take my bicycle or snowboard in the boot without any issues.

Build quality: The interior of the TT is really nicely made, I never had any squeaks or rattles and in fact I never had any reliability issues in either of my cars over the 5 years I owned them. In comparison, the Evora makes a lot of noises while on the move, and half the interior is just stuck on with velcro so don't expect the same standard as your RS. Before anyone jumps in with the 'hand built car' comment, I don't have a problem with the noises - the driving experience more than makes up for it, but it definitely needs to be said, they aren't as well put together as most mass-produced premium brands.

All weather usability: To be fair to the Evora, I daily drive it, and have been driving it to work in the snow we are currently experiencing, so this is a bit of an odd one, but being 4 wheel drive, and slightly higher off the ground, the TTS was a more reliable choice in bad weather. I have definitely had to be more careful with the power in the Evora, so although it's not let me down in the bad weather, the TTS is the winner here.

Reliability: Again, this is going to be very subjective to each car, but as mentioned I had two TTS's for a period of 5 years, and they were bulletproof, just required regular maintenance. I've had my Evora for 6 months, and so far have had to replace the AC compressor, AC condenser, radiator and rear lights, and one of the displays on my dashboard doesn't work. It's a 9 year old car, whilst my TT's were around 5 years old while I owned them, so that's worth taking into account. So far the engine in the Evora has been reliable, and I've not been stranded by the side of the road, but it was a close call on one occasion.

 

Where they draw:

MPG: I get around 25-30mpg on my commute for both cars, not much more needs to be said.

 

Right, I think I've bored everyone enough now, but to summarise, I absolutely recommend the Evora.

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Relic222:

Interesting comments.  I agree on your assessment of where the TT wins.  Just a few comments on where the Evora wins.  

1) Steering feel: there just isn’t a lot of steering feel in the TT.  One of my concerns about the R8 is that it wouldn’t any better than the TT in this department.

2) Suspension: the TT RS has a regular suspension mode and sport.  Sport not only affects suspension, but shift/engine response and its simply too manic to be of any use.   There are mods you can add to the car, but that begins to take you down a slippery slope.  Most of the time, you are better getting the car you want rather than trying to make your current ride into something it’s not.

3) Engine:the RS engine is different as you note.  But I had a friend drive my car and she noted that you could not easily modulate the throttle response, probably due to the turbo charging.  Less of a concern on the road than on the track.  And as for sound, I don’t think any front-engined car can compete with an engine screaming from behind you.

4) Desireability: no doubt the Evora would win that category, but I have been amazed at how much attention and positive comments the TT RS garners.  It kind of spoils you.  A Porsche would be hard to go to as a result because you would driving just another 911.  

5) Balance:  I’m surprised you didn’t mention this.  The TT RS has a 60/40 front/rear weight bias and it always reminds you that you are driving a FWD with power to the rear wheels as needed.  One of the things I want in my next car is better balance and either RWD or a car that is primarily RWD with power to the front wheels as needed (like the NSX).  

Also an area where there is a draw is the radio.  The RS radio is dated and I haven’t heard many good things about the Lotus radio.  However, both are double DIN radios and easily replaced.   The radio on my TT died and I replaced it; amazing how a current radio makes a car feel far more current than its model year would suggest.  

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Yep, sounds like we agree on all the points. As for balance, I lumped that in with the chassis, the Evora has far more control, the TT just understeers. Rear wheel drive and even weight distribution make a massive difference, you'll love it! 

I can't comment on the Lotus radio because the previous owner of my car upgraded the unit to a new Pioneer one which is pretty decent. The RNSE in the TT was fine, but was starting to age, though I do prefer the physical buttons over the touchscreen in the Evora. 

Good lick with your search. 

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I had bought my ex wife an Audi TT Rs in pink I think the only one in Uk at the time ! I drove it now and then whist it was sporty it was another sporty car , the fact it was bubblegum pink it was that which attracted the attention not the car model ?

after the initial acceleration buzz the car settles into a sedate mode and you could be driving any modern luxury sporty car ? 

Before buying my lotus I test drove , Boxster (to vague not practical) , M3 v8 engine and it was lovely the soundtrack but then again it looked like any other hundred BMW’s you see on the road daily !

i wanted a car that when you parked up you would walk away and then turn back for glance , a grin and maybe a tiny sense of relief it’s arrived at your destination ? Lol 

at the end of the day it’s your hard earned money your using so it’s entirely down to you but always test drive your options to ensure you arrive at correct choice ? 

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18 hours ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

Gosh you're right. How can Lotus not have a dealership within 190 miles of the capital of the USA? Over here that would be like having the nearest Lotus dealers to London located in Manchester or Swansea.

Bit different (especially when considering population), but there isn’t a Lotus dealer in the Aussie capital either. I drive 300k to Sydney for major services. 

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25 minutes ago, DBG said:

Bit different (especially when considering population), but there isn’t a Lotus dealer in the Aussie capital either. I drive 300k to Sydney for major services. 

That will be a big consideration factor when you choose a car ? 

I bought my car from lotus dealer 200miles away but I have a lotus dealer within 25 miles so the warranty work was covered , however in ideal world you prefer to buy locally in manner to give you assurance ?

maybe taking the car to a speaclist sports car dealer would be option but for some things like fault code diagnostic you need lotus equipment ? 

I guess having the pleasure of a rare car comes with its drawbacks ? 

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Hasn’t been a problem in my ten+ years of Lotus ownership. I’ve generally done the intermediate services myself and then taken it to Sydney for the major stuff. It is a pain when life gets busy (3hrs each way), but I’ve mostly used the time while the car is getting serviced to explore the city a little more, so it’s kinda nice. I have a diagnostic reader (which I hope also works on the Evora) and a very well trusted local (non-Lotus) mechanic if needed. The Sydney dealer (SSC) has also been excellent (even driving the car half way on on occasion and trailering it up on another as they were local supporting a track day), so that helps. I’ve also never bought new, so warranty work hasn’t been an issue. 

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One big concern I have regarding Lotus is whether there will be continued support for the car in the USA.  There have been complaints about long wait times for parts.  Also, the Lotus website does not list the 410 GT Sport as being available here and I cannot find any 400s in the country which are not MY 2017-18.  

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