Last week we brought you news of the Lotus Eagle project and today we can confirm the actual name of the production vehicle. With its visual impact, dynamic performance, innovative chassis, packaging and convenience, the Evora heralds an exciting new era for Lotus.
The first all-new Lotus since the iconic Elise made its debut in 1995, The Evora enters the sports car market as currently the world's only mid-engined 2+2. Powered by a Lotus-tuned 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 28hp, and weighing just 1350kg/2976 lb (prototype specification), the Evora promises breathtaking performance. During preliminary testing around the famous Nrburgring, the Lotus chassis engineers report it is extremely agile and great fun to drive - even when clad with the disguise that hid the car from the prying motor-industry paparazzi.
The Evora offers a more refined ownership experience than Lotus's existing smaller four-cylinder models. Its cabin is elegantly trimmed and is equipped with features including a touchscreen multi-media system and electric power-fold mirrors.
Because one of the roles of the Evora is to attract new customers to the Lotus brand, much attention has been paid to its ease of use. Wider, taller doors and narrower sills make getting in and out of the cabin a less athletic undertaking than the Elise, Exige, Europa and 2-Eleven, while the design of the cabin itself will accommodate two 99th percentile (6ft 5in tall) American males in the front seats.
The `convenience factor' of the Evora extends to less obvious areas. For instance, beneath the skin the entire front-end structure is a high tech aluminum sacrificial modular unit, attached to the main extruded aluminum tub. This unit is designed to deform for maximum safety, and to reduce repair costs in the event of a frontal impact.The Evora has been designed with global automotive regulations in mind, and future derivatives are planed, including a convertible.
The Evora will be handcrafted and built on a dedicated assembly line within Lotus's advanced manufacturing facility at Hethel in the east of England; capacity limitations will restrict production to approximately 2000 cars a year, ensuring rarity and exclusivity.
Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc, has this to say about the new model: "The Evora is the biggest milestone Lotus has achieved since the Elise was born 13 years ago and is part of our bold five year strategic plan, which includes the introduction of new cars and technologies to more markets around the world. The Evora also represents Lotus core values of performance through light weight and efficiency and proves you can have phenomenal performance, fuel efficiency elegant design and practicality in a mid-engine 2+2 sportscar, which will meet global safety and homologation standards"
By the time Evora reaches the Lotus showrooms from Spring 2009, it will be the most thoroughly tested Lotus in the history of the marque. It will also be one of the company's great milestones.
The order book is now open in the UK and across continental Europe, with markets around the world to start taking orders in due course. Final specifications, options and price of the production Lotus Evora will be published closer to the sale date in the markets around the world.Mike Kimberley sums up, "This year Lotus celebrates its 60th anniversary and it is fitting that 2008 is also the birth of the Lotus Evora, a fantastic addition to the Lotus range. The Lotus Evora represents Group Lotus, a company that is at the forefront of the automotive industry, in a changing world where priorities of efficiency, economy and environmental impact go hand in hand with performance, design and individuality. I think Colin Chapman would have approved."