What is it?
The Evora S is the car that Lotus believes is good enough to be priced above the Porsche Cayman, and only slightly beneath the basic 911 Carrera. Hence it costs £58,995 in 2+2 trim and goes on sale at the end of November.
In the simplest terms it’s a more powerful, faster version of the already excellent base Evora, the extra go arriving courtesy of a supercharged version of that car’s Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6. But in reality it is, according to Lotus, “the car we always wanted to build.” In other words the version of the Evora we’ve all been waiting for.
The headline news concerns the more powerful supercharged engine, of course, which now develops a rousing 345bhp at 7000rpm and 295lb ft at 4000rpm – enough muscle to send the 1437kg Evora S to 60mph in a claimed 4.6sec and to 172mph. But there have been improvements made throughout the rest of the car to further improve its dynamic behaviour – and, of course, to justify its £10k premium.
The most significant of these concerns the six-speed manual transmission. This remains as before internally but now features an improved shift mechanism, a lower inertia clutch, new shift cables and a redesigned pedal box to reduce pedal effort. The suspension and steering have also been preened in line with the increased performance, though not, Lotus insists, at the expense of the base car’s exquisite ride quality.
What’s it like?
In a word, brilliant. As suggested, it still rides beautifully, gliding across pockmarked surfaces as if it’s been touched by some Higher Being. It wouldn’t be a Lotus were this not so. But what you really notice, of course, is what happens when you put your foot down – because that’s when the Evora S reveals its true self. The handling and steering seem to crystallise and become even sharper, even more responsive as a result of the extra torque that’s available. After a day at the wheel of this car you realise that the Porsche Cayman is no longer quite so supreme.
In short, the supercharged Evora is one of those cars that, for whatever reason, manages to over-deliver on the sum of its parts on the road. It feels so much more than an Evora with an extra 70bhp.