The Evora basics are as they were. It has a bonded and fastened aluminium chassis, to which a plastic body is attached. There’s a long cabin by midengined car standards, accommodating the driver and passenger, a pair of diddy seats behind them and, at the back, a supercharged 3.5-litre Toyota V6, which drives the rear wheels through a sixspeed automatic gearbox (a six-speed manual is standard).
Power is — the clue is in the name — 400bhp and torque is 302lb ft at a modest 3500rpm. That’s sufficient that, if you spec the manual ’box, you get a limited-slip diff, but it’s an option denied those who go for the torque-converter auto. There’s also a shallow but wide boot.
And, no question, it’s yellow — a colour that’s a no-cost option, unlike some of the contrasting black features that have made it onto this Evora. Black leather trim (£2500), black brake calipers (£300), forged black wheels (£2000) and a Black Pack (£1500) are all fitted. They join the auto ’box (£2000) and cruise control (£300) in adding £8600 to the Evora’s base price, taking the total for this car to £80,600. Yep. This is an £80,000 Lotus.
That’s quite the ask for a plasticbodied, Norfolk-built sports car, is it not? Albeit one that comes with a respectable set of statistics: 0-60mph in 4.1sec and a top speed of 174mph. Weight is a claimed 1425kg — 30kg more than the manual. The Evora always occupied a place between Porsches Cayman and 911. At £80,000, though, it’s pushing firmly into 911 territory.
What does that get you? When it comes to cabin niceties, it’s very, er, Lotus. There are no cupholders, there’s air-con but not climate control and the infotainment is the fiddliest Alpine aftermarket head unit you’ll have used in years. But the basics are good: the driving position is straight enough, the seats are supportive and the steering wheel is small and pleasing to hold, with tidy shift paddles attached to the back. Cruise control takes centre stage on the wheel; a volume control doesn’t get a look in. Column stalks are items Ford no longer uses. The light switch is one Vauxhall still does. Other switches are bespoke to the car.
Materials and their finish are more bespoke than in anything German of the same price, which is kinda good and kinda not, depending on where you look and how you feel at the time. As a ride and handling enthusiast, I don’t care a jot. As a Costa enthusiast, I do. Lotus will tell you this is a sports car, so get your priorities straight: steering over coffee. Fair enough. Most owners would have another car for everyday use, after all.