Lotus is working at top speed on this revised Evora, designed to stimulate sluggish sales and bridge the styling gap between the current car and the new wave of Lotus models due to hit the market from 2013.
The most striking feature of the revised Evora — shown here in this grainy leaked image and believed to be heading for launch late this year as a 2012 model — is its much more aggressive radiator ‘mouth’. It is very reminiscent of the treatment already designed for later models by Lotus’s ex-Ferrari design boss, Donato Coco.
Coco believes the present Evora’s traditional Lotus mouth is “too weak” for a modern performance car. “Even many economy cars look more aggressive,” he says. The new treatment has a long heritage, too, he says, appearing first on the Lotus 18 single-seater at the beginning of the 1960s.
The 2012 Evora is believed also to have a revised interior with a higher level of standard equipment and a greater accent on quality, points of criticism with road testers and owners.
The Evora, which starts at £51,030 for the 276bhp two-seat version, suffered very sluggish sales to start with, but things have improved a little with the launch late last year of the £60,000, 345bhp Evora S, which uses a supercharged version of the standard car’s 276bhp Toyota-derived V6.
Lotus bosses are understood to be on the point of deciding whether they can afford to build a range of own-design V6 and V8 modular engines for future products, following uncertain reactions to the proposed use of Toyota engines in upmarket Lotus models.
“We have designed engines for clients,” said Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, “so why not for ourselves?” He admits, however, that the final decision will be all a matter of money.