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2014 Lotus Evora

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2014 Lotus Evora Review

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Large by the standards of the small British automaker, the 2014 Lotus Evora is still small by American standards. Nonetheless, this Lotus sports car can be had with a pair of small rear seats, although they're so small that it's better to just stick with the cargo shelf that's standard. If you're expecting extreme horsepower and brutal acceleration from the Evora, then you don't really "get" what Lotus is about. While certainly quick, the Evora's forte is handling, rather than outright speed. Unlike other contemporary Lotus cars, the Evora's interior is comfortable and quiet, although without the frills of a Porsche Cayman, Audi S5, or even the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. At a starting price of $70,000 it isn't cheap, but the exclusivity is hard to match.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your priorities are on handling and balance, rather than getting the highest test-track numbers, then the Lotus Evora could be the ticket. It's lightweight, agile, and even modestly fuel efficient, considering its competition.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a true 4-seater, want the newest in gadgetry, or just want a dealer that's in your neighborhood, the Lotus Evora may not be your pick. Check out the Porsche Cayman or Audi S5 instead, or even Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, if you don't care about a rear seat.

What's New for 2014

From the tire tread to the rooftop, the 2014 Lotus Evora carries over unchanged from last year's model.

Driving the Evora
Driving Impressions

The design dictum of Colin Chapman, the man who founded Lotus, was simple: Add lightness. This philosophy carries over to the 2014 Lotus Evora, and the light weight makes this...

... sports car supremely satisfying on the track, or a good mountain road. You can get the Evora in two ways: standard, or in the supercharged Evora S. The former can get you from a standstill to 60 mph in five seconds, while the latter shaves a half-second off that time. But the real story is handling: The steering and suspension on the 2014 Evora help the car respond with near telepathic precision, and the brakes and throttle are equally responsive. Sadly, the Evora's clunky 6-speed manual transmission suffers from long throws, and the 6-speed automatic isn't much better. The 2014 Evora is also low to the ground and hard to get in and out of, and have fun peering around those blind spots.

V6 ENGINE
This may be the best use ever of a Toyota Camry's V6 engine. That's no typo: The V6 in the 2014 Lotus Evora comes straight from Toyota's family sedan – the Evora S just slaps a supercharger on it. Not only is it powerful, but it's great news for reliability.

EXTERIOR DESIGN
There's a lot to like about the Lotus Evora's style. The wedge profile, the big air intakes, and the expressive taillights all combine for a sleek and classy look. Now add the exclusivity of the Lotus brand – an attention grabber in its own right.

2014 Lotus Evora Details
Interior

A real estate agent would describe the Lotus Evora interior as "cozy." Yoga instructors will have no problem getting in and out, but the rest of us may want to limber up first. The interior design is classy, with nicely shaped leather Recaro seats and high-quality switchgear, but it's also Spartan. While the 2014 Lotus Evora is technically available as a 2+2, those rear seats are extremely cramped. It's better to skip them and just use it as a cargo area. Looking behind you is difficult, thanks to the tiny rear window and thick pillars.

Exterior

Even a "big" Lotus is still a small car. At about 171 inches in length, the 2014 Evora is about eight inches shorter than a Honda Civic sedan. Low and wide, the Lotus Evora is evocative of the racecars that inspired it. From its elongated headlights and its large air ducts behind each door, to the wide rear haunches to the upturned tail, the Evora is a feast for the eyes. While it may not have the eye-grabbing excitement of an Italian exotic, there's no doubt this British sports car will remain classy looking for years to come.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

If you're shopping for a Lotus, chances are you're looking for performance gear, and not high-tech gadgetry. At least, that'd better be the case, since that's what you'll find. The 2014 Lotus Evora offers up AP Racing 4-piston brakes and staggered-width wheels – 18-inch wheels in front and 19-inchers in the rear. Pirelli P-Zero tires are standard issue. The Evora S adds blacked-out trim, and a sport mode for better throttle response. But the Evora's not totally without its creature comforts. There's those Recaro seats, and also an Alpine audio system.

Optional Equipment

The most noteworthy upgrade for the 2014 Lotus Evora is the 2+2 seating configuration, which adds a pair of tiny rear seats to the car. There's also a 6-speed automatic transmission, different wheels, heated seats, and a rearview camera – considering the tight view out the rear of this car, that camera should probably be standard. A technology package adds a navigation system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, a better audio system with a DVD player, Bluetooth, cruise control, and parking sensors.

Under the Hood

It's hard to believe that the engine in such an exotic car could have such humble origins, but all 2014 Lotus Evora models use a Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V6 engine. Standard Evora models make 276 horsepower, while the Evora S employs a supercharger, upping power to a more robust 345. The engine is mounted behind the passenger cabin, ideal for this rear-wheel-drive car's handling balance. Top speed for the standard Evora is 163 mph, while the supercharged Evora S gets up to 178 mph. Both engines come with a 6-speed manual transmission, but an optional 6-speed automatic is available. The automatic features Intelligent Precision Shift and gets slightly better fuel economy, but at the expense of acceleration and top speed.

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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