From £60,550
A Lotus Evora S would be a great addition to anyone’s garage, but the manual is a better bet unless you're utterly committed to using the car for touring only.
Jim Holder
16 January 2012

What is it?

This is the latest Lotus Evora S, now fitted for the first time with the IPS automatic gearshift that has so far been offered only on the standard car, and which has found most favour chiefly in America and the middle- and far-east.

The 2012 Lotus Evora S is powered by the same 345bhp supercharged V6 as before, but benefits from the 143 (count them) improvements made as part of Lotus’ reinvestment in the Evora.

What’s it like?

Engine running, it’s a choice of selecting Drive or Sport modes via push buttons on the centre console and either letting the Intelligent Precision Shift system - a six-speed torque-converter unit, Toyota-sourced like the engine - doing its bit or changing via well-placed steering wheel mounted controls.

Left to its own devices, the IPS system delivers on the Evora’s ambitions to be a mid-engined GT car. Shifts are quick, smooth and almost always reasonably precise. Only when you push on does it struggle, both by holding too many revs on upshifts or not changing down fast enough under braking.

Using the paddles improves things, although the fact it reverts back to automatic mode if you don’t change gear for ten seconds is frustrating. Sport mode livens up throttle response, allows more revs and introduces electronic control systems later - and lets you change gear as you wish. The effect is far more engaging. However, it does tend to over-blip the revs on downshifts, leaving you scrabbling for drive just when you want to be powering through a corner.

For the vast majority of the time, though, the IPS system works well; however, its hard to get away from the fact that it can spoil the fun a bit when you’re really in the mood for a blast - which, given the sensational handling and ride of the Evora is what you should really be most interested in buying this car for.

On smooth roads the Evora is first-rate, gripping tenaciously and hardly rolling. On the broken, cambered surfaces for which the UK is so well known, and derided, it rides imperiously. The Evora remains one of the most pleasurable cars to drive on these shores - a fact now boosted by the majority of those 143 changes. Chiefly, and substantially, they improve the cabin quality and ambience, and enhance the driver involvement with minor changes such as allowing more engine noise into the cabin.


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Should I buy one?

A Lotus Evora S would be a great addition to anyone’s garage, but we’d hesitate to recommend the £1800 IPS system for anyone unless they are utterly committed to using their car for touring only. The manual gearbox isn’t a quantum leap better, but it does let you access that bit more fun from the car. Sign the cheque and your head may be ringing with thoughts that you should have bought the Porsche Cayman, but your heart will be leaping just the same.

Lotus Evora S +2 IPS 

Price: circa £62,200; 0-62mph; 4.8sec (claimed); Top speed: 172mph (claimed); Economy: 29.3mpg (combined); CO2: 224g/km; Kerb weight: 1442kg; Engine type: 3.5-litre V6, petrol, supercharged; Engine layout: mid-mounted; Power: 345bhp at 7000rpm; Torque: 295lb ft at 4500rpm; Gearbox: 6-speed automatic

Join the debate


17 January 2012

I find it worrying that Lotus in their new aggressive "we are going to take over the sports car world" state have not perfected this gearbox. I know why they are offering it but it seems like a half hearted compromise which doesn't bode well for future models.

As for the car itself, I still have a very soft spot for the Evora 2+2 in a "it's not a 911" way.

17 January 2012

Sad that they were happy to sell you a car which needed 143 areas of improvement previously.

17 January 2012

143 improvements maybe - but one of them wasn`t reducing the size of the gap between dashboard and door meeting - how wide is that!

17 January 2012

[quote TegTypeR]As for the car itself, I still have a very soft spot for the Evora 2+2 in a "it's not a 911" way.[/quote]

Yes, me too, I have the presentiment that it could be the weekend car that I finally manage to happily keep for years. In Germany there are a bunch on sale and there I could trade in the AM V8 without burning its value like in Italy thanks to the fool power tax that will force the depart of many powerful cars. A neighbour of mine just sold in Germany its Z06 Corvette, its road tax jumped forward from around £1000 to over £4200 a year!


17 January 2012

[quote Paul J]Sad that they were happy to sell you a car which needed 143 areas of improvement previously.[/quote] For companies committed to continuous improvement it is normal to make changes during the models lifetime that run into the hundreds, and Lotus' size and production methods enable them to do this more easily than most. It is those manufacturers that fail to do so that are unprofessional and are resting on their laurels. Whatever the credibility of Bahar's claims, I am pleased that they appear committed to the substantial improvement they need to be competitive. I hope it will be enough, and that whoever their new owners turn out to be will properly fund them and not make them produce inappropriate cars.

17 January 2012

I'd have one of these over a Cayman any day of the week. What a car!

17 January 2012

I think if Lotus claim to be a prolific sports car maker they need to sort the gear box, either offer it with a smooth and precise mannual, or a fast shifting dual clutch gear box.

I find this car a tad pricey... not sure how it compares to its rivals but i can think of alot of sports cars i would choose over the Lotus.

17 January 2012

I don't see how a Grand Tourer is improved by allowing more engine noise into the cabin. Fine for a 20 minute blast, but not for an 8 hour continental journey.

17 January 2012

one of my secretly-want-one cars, if only for its now legendary mix of driver feedback and ride quality.

17 January 2012

I find it hard to be logical when I'm thinking about any Lotus - my heart certainly rules my head, which isn't necessarily wrong because they are sports cars, not sensible family cars. Despite this, I've failed to commit to actually buying one, even though I've been sorely tempted on several occasions. I've swung from original Elans, to Elises and then onto Exiges and they all leave me in a state of confusion. I'm hoping that I'll be able to ignore that nagging head one day and prove that my heart was right all along. My head keeps saying "Buy a Porsche, you idiot", which is annoyingly predictable . Heart (and Bahar) still have some work to do before I'm ready to commit to a Lotus, whether new or a classic. If Lotus can make something that makes sense to the head ( rather than the heart), they might actually make money.


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