The problem with the admirable Lotus Elise is that while all that pure and animal-like intercommunication between car and driver makes for an unparalleled synthesis of automotive pleasure, especially on a racetrack, the car is not much cop if you want to travel further than the local pub or you need to take your children to school.
Enter, stage left, the Lotus Evora – a 2+2 Lotus with all the swagger and a three-section composite body (with easily replaceable plastic bumpers) but with a token nod towards comfort and touring.
If you're willing to pay around £25k for a used one, your faith will be rewarded with a 0-62mph sprint time of less than 5.5sec, track-tuned handling and steering, and a magic-carpet ride. You’ll also net a bulletproof Toyota V6 with low running costs and two more seats than its rival, the Porsche Cayman.
In the years since the first Evora went on sale, no serious reliability issues have raised their head. The engines are still doing a shift, as is the Eaton supercharger on S models. The loose gearbox cables that blighted some early cars have been tweaked, and the floppy door handles have been rectified.
The interiors on well-used early examples may be looking a little tired and the front anti-roll bar bushes may be starting to knock, but that’s it.
The Evora was launched in 2009 with a mid-mounted Toyota 3.5-litre V6 producing 276bhp and 258lb ft and driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. Its three-section composite body (with easily replaceable plastic bumpers) houses a 2+2 cabin (although there are some Evoras with two seats and an extended parcel shelf) and a boot large enough for a set of golf clubs.
But you won’t want to waste time on the links when you’ve an Evora to play with. Double-wishbone suspension, Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers, brake parts by AP Racing and standard-fit Pirelli P Zeros (18in items at the front, 19s at the rear) make sure of that.
The first cars got the Launch Pack, comprising Tech (sat-nav, parking aids, cruise control), Sport (cross-drilled discs, a deeper spoiler and uprated exhaust) and Premium (extra leather, heated seats, reversing camera). All the goodies became available singly, too. Another option was a close-ratio Sport gearbox.