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2012 Lotus Evora

Overview
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2012 Lotus Evora Review

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British automaker Lotus has long been known for sports cars that rely on compact, lightweight chassis and small-but-powerful engines vs. the larger platforms and big, fuel-thirsty engines found in many rivals. But these qualities that make Lotus vehicles nimble on racetracks and twisty roads also result in cramped interiors and stiff rides. With the Evora, Lotus has created a larger car that addresses these issues by offering extra room and more comfort, yet retains its flingable nature. Like the outgoing Elise and Exige, the 2012 Lotus Evora coupe features a mid-engine/rear-wheel-drive configuration. The engine in the Evora, though, is a bigger, Toyota-derived V6. The Evora is offered as a 2-seater with storage in back or as a 2+2 whose two rear seats are child-only. An S variant offers more power from its supercharged engine.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your idea of a sports car is one that is lightweight, very nimble and stands out even among thrill machines costing $70,000 and up, the Lotus Evora is worth a look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While more livable than past Lotuses, the Evora still has plenty of compromises if you intend to use it as a daily driver. A Porsche Cayman or BMW Z4 can offer similar performance and a better ride. Also, the exclusivity of the Lotus also means a smaller dealer network when maintenance and repairs are required.

What's New for 2012

2012 Lotus Evora and Evora S models are now available with a 6-speed automatic transmission called Intelligent Precision Shift, or IPS. Lotus says the system will adapt to your driving style, and it features steering-wheel-mounted paddles that allow manual shifting.

Driving the Evora

Driving Impressions Like other Lotus vehicles, the 2012 Evora is quick and highly maneuverable. What sets this one apart from others is that it's more comfortable. While the Evora may not be...

your first choice for a cross-country trip, the car is tolerable for going moderate distances. With the naturally aspirated 276-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, the 2012 Evora can hit 60 mph in five seconds or less, depending on transmission. The 2012 Evora S, with a supercharged version of the engine – making 345 horsepower – can do it in as little as 4.4 seconds. The Evora's 6-speed manual transmission feels a little clunky and has long throws, while the automatic is a bit smoother but far from the best out there. Braking, meanwhile, is excellent. Potential Evora owners should be aware that entering and exiting this small vehicle can be an awkward dance, and the footwell and pedal position feel cramped. Also, blind spots to the rear are pronounced.

V6 ENGINE
For this larger car, Lotus went with a larger engine, straying from the 4-cylinder units used in past cars, like the Elise. This V6 comes from Toyota, and is a relative to the one used in America's best-selling car, the Camry. That's good news when it comes to reliability.

DESIGN
The wedge-like Lotus Evora looks like nothing else on the road. Add in the fact that Lotuses are relatively obscure to begin with, and you get a car that's an immediate attention-grabber and quite the conversation piece.

2012 Lotus Evora Details
Interior

Not surprisingly, the Evora's minimalist nature extends to its cabin. Once you clamber inside, the driver and passenger seats are well-bolstered. As for Evoras with the 2+2 configuration, even Lotus admits the small back seats are really just meant for children. Back up front, functions like the climate system are controlled via large, circular knobs and a few buttons. In one sense that's refreshingly simple, in another it feels out of place for a car of this price. The optional navigation system, too, is rather plain and has just so-so resolution. A tiny rear window and thick rear pillars create blinds spots that hinder visibility.

Exterior

At about 171 inches in length, the 2012 Evora is large for a Lotus, but still small by U.S. car standards. The Evora sits low and wide, akin to the racecars that inspired it. The Evora's front is defined by elongated headlights that stretch half the length of its hood. Large side air ducts sit high and directly aft of each door, while the rear haunches extend outward and have a very muscular look. At the rear is an integrated spoiler and center-mounted exhaust. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard up front, with 19-inch wheels at the rear.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Performance is the name of the game for this car, so it's no surprise that standard features for 2012 Lotus Evora models favor that aspect over creature comforts. All models employ a 3.5-liter V6 engine, ventilated brakes with AP Racing 4-piston calipers and bi-xenon headlights. Inside are Recaro racing-style seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, and Alpine AM/FM/CD player with iPod connectivity.

Optional Equipment

The Lotus Evora can be upgraded with a variety of packages. The Premium Pack adds accoutrements such as a leather-clad interior, while the Tech Pack includes a 7-inch touch-screen display, upgraded speakers and a 100-watt amplifier and DVD player. Other options include navigation, two small rear seats, a 6-speed automatic transmission, heated front seats, and a backup camera.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Lotus Evora uses a Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V6 that makes 276 horsepower, while the Evora S supercharges that same engine to make a robust 345 horsepower. All Evora models use a mid-engine, rear-drive layout. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual. In a change from its usual course, Lotus offers a 6-speed automatic transmission in the Evora that achieves better fuel economy than the manual gearbox.

3.5-liter V6
276 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg (manual), 20/28 mpg (automatic)

3.5-liter supercharged V6
345 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 mpg (manual), 19/28 mpg (automatic)

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2012 Lotus Evora Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 5 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    6.8/10
    Quality
    7.2/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    7.0/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Stunning to look at!

By on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Stunning lines, corners great, fab gas mileage"

Cons: "none really"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had my car for a little less than a year...coming from corvettes, i had to make myself not compare these two cars. There is no comparison! If you want power and speed, you'll prefer the vette with more bells and whistles. The lotus Evora is a great handling, pure sports car but an affordable one when you compare the price of the Audi R8 or Nissan GTR for example. I am disappointed at a lot of small things that to me were just QC issues, i've had it at the dealer to fix many little things but nothing major at all. The power is pretty good considering the fact that it doesn't weigh much. I have the IPS car with sport mode and i love the sound it puts out. My car is loaded with tech pack and sport pack and the premium pack and the larger wheels. The braking system is excellent, the rev matching when coming to a stop is a little annoying to me..i don't like the loudness and the jerky feel of the downshifting. The cornering is fab, the car hugs the road beautifully. The seats are comfy. I have no backseat but didn't want the useless backseat. Front cockpit is roomy and comfy. My stock stereo (pioneer) with the upgraded tech pack is amazing! i'm in love with that sound system. The lines and curves on the exterior are beyond stunning. You don't see much out the back hatch window so you have to use your side mirrors often. Over all, it's a great car...generates a ton of looks, and you'll be a member of a very small club as there are not many in the USA. It's nice to be exclusive...i love the fact that it's hand built too. However, bang for the buck...i gotta say i'm going to get another vette, the new Z06. I like bells and whistles and refinement...the evora is more refined than the Elise or Exige but not the vette. I love the evora though but won't buy another one after this one.."

23 people out of 45 found this review helpful

A real head turner

By on Friday, January 11, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "An extremely well balanced chassis."

Cons: "A tricky entry and exit from the cabin !"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The Evora has an extremely competent chassis, fantastic braking and a beautifully designed composite exterior. Handling point to point is phenomenal, and on track will happily keep up with far more expensive counterparts. The interior, with premium and tech pack is a nicely appointed cabin. On the road it always generates lots of attention."

16 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Small, Fast, Gets a lot of attention...

By on Monday, October 22, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Most fun you can have in a car"

Cons: "seems a little cheap and rough around the edges"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this car new in 2011, and take it out on the weekends. The S model not crazy fast, but it gets the job done. The handling is amazing. It is a little rough around the edges (fit and trim). But then I expected that in a handmade car. It is a little hard to get in and out, but comfortable to drive once you get in. The back seats hold a small suitcase, but no real person could sit in them. Overall though I love the car."

16 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Seemingly underpowered

By on Thursday, December 22, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,500

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "world-leading handling, looks, exclusivity"

Cons: "fit and finish, clutch issues, poor support"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Based on what I paid, the power is a little lacking. At $84k, the 4.9 sec 0-60 is underwhelming. Even worse, the S upgrade only takes the 0-60 time down by .3 seconds to 4.6 seconds. Anyway, the car has not held up as well as it should in the 18 months I've owned the car. I have had it in the shop about 6 times now for various fit and finish issues, and one major issue, which involved changing out the entire clutch, which took over 4 weeks to complete. It seems Lotus is very slow at providing parts to their US dealers for repairs. Yes the handling is superb, but there is more to this car than just that. Otherwise, I could spend 1/3 the money and gotten myself an Elise for ~30k. This is a true luxury automobile with a very comfortable, quiet ride and motor. I just wished the quality lived up to the price. From a value standpoint, this is the kind of car that must steal your heart in order to steal your wallet."

35 people out of 43 found this review helpful

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