The Evora is the first Lotus to be based on a ‘new’ (read bigger) platform, even though it still uses the aluminium architecture first seen on the Elise in 1995. Launched at the London motor show in 2009, the Evora was “the first part of a three-car, five-year grand plan”, according to Lotus’s management at the time. That line-up was due to be completed by a new Esprit in 2011; instead, new management has announced different, rather bolder ambitions.

Given you’re reading this, you’ll be aware of Lotus’s model roll-out plans – 
the ones that redefine the word ‘ambitious’ in the automotive arena. But until the new cars arrive – and they’ll start with a V8-powered Esprit in the not-too-distant future – there’s the small matter of keeping the current line-up flowing out of the factory. The Elise, we’ve no doubt, will always find itself owners. The Europa and Evora seem to have found it more difficult. Lotus’s answer for the Europa was to quietly drop it from the range. The Evora, on the other hand, now gets the power it always deserved and was easily capable of handling from the start in the 345bhp supercharged S model.

Like the 276bhp version that’s still on sale, it uses a heavily tweaked version of a familiar Toyota all-alloy 3.5-litre V6 engine, through a Toyota-sourced six-speed gearbox. There’s also now a two-pedal version, badged IPS (for Intelligent Precision Shift) and again using a Toyota ‘box.

The Evora can be had in two-seat form or as a +2: the rear seats making it the world’s only current mid-engined four-seater still available. The extra two seats add £1500 to the two-seater’s asking price.

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First drives

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