January 23, 2017

Lotus Evora S IPS Sports Racer: It’s easy to forget…

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No, it’s not easy to forget the car, but on a recent long drive it struck me how easy it is to forget many of the aspects of this car which make it what it is. It’s easy to forget that you’re driving a car which won 5 ‘Car of the Year’ awards when it was launched in 2009. It’s easy to forget while cruising along the motorway (with cruise control on) you’re driving a car which will accelerate from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and decelerate from 60-0 even quicker than that, in fact twice as quick! It’s also easy to forget putting your foot down at 50mph in 3rd gear will see you at over 100mph before needing to change gear again (on the autobahn only, naturally) and that you’re driving a car so stiff that you can hang a whole Evora from an Evora and see less than 1 degree flex in the chassis. It’s a multi-faceted car, and that’s the bit that catches you out on the long runs, that it’s an aggressive monster of a high-end sports car as well as comfortable daily driver all year around with annual ownership costs lower than many of the run-of-the-mill saloons. So a message to Evora owners, especially those who use the car every day and perhaps take its performance and dynamics for granted; take the long way home, give it some beans, remember what the Evora is all about – it’s too easy to take it for granted!

In the last month we’ve driven over 1,500 miles in the Evora and to be fair, it’s been faultless. I know I’m a long term Lotus fan and this is a Lotus based website, but it’s hard to find niggles in the car when it does what it says on the tin so well. A recent trip to the New Forest for these pictures saw the car loaded up with 2 adults complete with 2 full sets of photographic gear including tripods, camera bags etc, wet weather gear (doesn’t it always rain when you want sunshine!) and several brollies. While the boot struggles to fit all of this, there’s plenty of room in the back of the passenger cabin for overspill and some of the softer items are welcomed behind the driver and passenger seats. From Kent to Berkshire to the New Forest and back we used around 3/4 of a tank of fuel (250 miles) which equates to 27mpg according to the dash display, certainly liveable for the performance on tap.

Another surprise which shouldn’t have been was on the drive home in rain so hard the single wiper was on overtime trying to keep up and quite unlike the S1 Elise I own, the Evora laps up such weather. Not only have we not seen a hint of aquaplaning as the very light Elise suffers from the car does inspire a lot of confidence on these kind of days. Pushing on it takes some real provocation and if it’s the tyres, the DPM system or just the dynamics of the car, there wasn’t a moment when you’re not completely confident the car will be stable, compliant and easy to drive hard. With more of this weather on the way, it ticks the ‘all year round’ box that some older Lotus cars struggle with, seeing owners elect to SORN their vehicles over the wetter and colder months. Even still on the normal Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres and not winter tyres it’s just fine, although that may change as temperatures drop and it dictates a change to winter tyres. On a previous long term test Evora we even kept driving in the most hellish of winter thanks to the Yokohama W-Drive tyres and were so inspired by the usability that personally I now fit these to our normal cars, they’re not just for snow days you know!

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After a few months back in an Evora it’s soon to be heading back to Hethel, but it’s managed to rekindle my affair with the car. With used Lotus prices holding their own very well, I can’t help but think it’s time to jump into personal ownership. A Launch Edition Evora from 2009 was close to £60k new and for the last 2, even 3 years these have now held steady at over £30k, very few have dropped below this level. For an extra £10k (which equates well to the new price) you can see yourself into a Supercharged Evora and for another £5k on that sees you into the much improved MY12 onwards cars. There’s no such thing as a safe investment but the prices just aren’t dropping so owning an Evora for a year or two will make a lot of economic sense, you’d lose more money buying a new Ford Fiesta in the same time! While a brand new car will depreciate, that’s currently partly negated for current Lotus owners as most UK dealers are offering £6k off a new car until the end of January 2015 if you either p-ex your current Lotus, or even just offer a proof of ownership. Coupled with the 0% finance deals you can get from the dealer and 3 years free servicing and warranty, that annual cost of ownership does make the car look like a lot of sense.

Evora Facts:

  • It takes 26,600nm of torque to flex the chassis 1 degree. That’s 50% stiffer than a Ferrari F430.
  • The name is a combination of Evolution, Vogue and Aura. It’s not named after the town in Portugal! Exira was considered and the cars development name was Eagle.
  • The wishbones are forged aluminium and feature the Lotus roundel. These are stronger and lighter than cast wishbones.
  • There are optical illusions on the doors. The curves from the wing mirror back to the intake grill at the top and the crease along the bottom of the door plus sill add a ‘feminine’ curve effect to what is otherwise an almost completely flat door. This also disguises the length of the wheelbase.
  • There’s a gap between the panel which holds the reversing sensors and the rear diffuser on the Evora S. This facilities fresh air circulation to keep the boot cool.
  • There’s a ‘chimney’ from the forward manifold on the engine to draft hot air out of one of the tailgate vents directly.
  • There are 3 NACA ducts under the otherwise flat underside of the car to draw cooling air into the engine bay without affecting the air flow under the car.
  • As per Lotus tradition, all body panels are composite and in a break from un-stressed body panels in the Elise/Exige, the Evora features stressed panels to improve rigidity – the body panels now form part of the structure of the car.
  • The steering wheel rim is made from lightweight magnesium alloy, this allows for better feedback due to lower rotational inertia.
  • The world’s only mid-engined 2+2.

With thanks to the amazing Andrzej of nineteen80one.com for the fantastic images! Click any image to view the gallery.

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