Lotus Evora production ended this year as Lotus clears the way for a new family of sports cars. The mid-engined two-seater (two rear seats were available as an option) was launched in 2009. The Evora was powered by a Toyota 3.5-litre V6 making 276bhp, and a supercharged Evora S arrived the following year with 345bhp. Both models can hit 62mph in under five seconds. The S is more desirable but the real attraction of the Evora lies not in its outright performance, which is strong, but in its steering, handling and ride.
Evora prices start at around £25,000 for 276bhp cars. Our find is a 2010 example with 39,000 miles. Its Aquamarine paint gleams and its black leather interior looks unmarked, but what really appeals are the seven Bell & Colvill stamps in the service book, plus one from Lotus Silverstone, which, at 35,000 miles, gave the car a thorough overhaul. The owner then broke the cycle by having the 40,000-mile service done by an independent.
Nothing wrong with independents, by the way, many of whom have greater experience with older cars and who employ manufacturer-trained technicians, but breaking the cycle is a shame and probably didn’t save the owner much money. Anyway, it’s a detail easily remedied with a return to the fold next time. After all, it pays to be a little obsessive with cars like the Evora.
Were we serious, we’d check the operation of the clutch, the condition of the exhaust mounts and that it hasn’t been routinely over-revved. Baulky shifts may be the gear-change cables, which can stretch. Panel gaps should be regular.
Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Estate SE auto, £2100: Worried about Mercedes’ build quality? Don’t be. This 2010-reg C-Class wagon with 170,000 miles swings it for us with eight Mercedes dealer stamps in the service book. It won’t impress Mayor Khan, but we’ll take 45mpg and a low price any day.
Fiat Barchetta 1.7, £4999: The Barchetta of 1995-2005 was a thoroughly Italian sports car, right down to its uncompromising left-hand-drive layout. Our spot is a 1998 example with 57,000 miles, fresh from a private collection. Check for rust like your life depends on it.