I’d been looking forward to driving the Lotus Evora S for over a week and when I pitched up at Lotus’s new showroom on Gelderd Road, Leeds, excitement reached fever pitch. What a sublime looking car, a real head turner.
Surely this is the best looking Lotus ever? Getting in, I felt properly cocooned by a slick, all-leather interior. Everything is clearly laid out with controls coming easily to hand – nothing too complex. The exception was the Alpine multimedia unit that looks very cool and retro but unless you have a masters degree in sat-navery, you might find it a bit challenging to use.
At least I did. For such a great car, I also think a higher specification sound system is in order. Once on the road I found the car reassuringly stable and easy to drive, and dare I say it, a little tamer than I was expecting.
That was until I discovered the “sport” button. I prodded it, not really expecting a huge difference – how wrong could I be? Once in sport mode this car comes alive and everything starts to make real sense. The Lotus racing heritage kicks in and the car becomes an absolute beast.
The power is more immediate, the vehicle tightens and the noise is absolutely thrilling as everything opens up. I’m grinning from ear to ear as it eats up the corners. This is no boy’s toy; it’s a man’s car.
I really had questioned some of the published stats for this car, particularly the 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds, but while I was certainly not going to push too hard on busy public roads I can now confirm this car is very, very quick. The handling is superb, the brakes strong and responsive, leaving me feeling in complete control at all times. The gearshift was a bit stiff, but I didn’t mind that, to be honest – it kind of forces you to engage with the car. It loved the twists and turns of the Pennine roads I used to put it through its paces. A brand new Lotus Evora S will set you back £67,000. It’s a lot of money, but this really is a special car and very exclusive.
Come November, there will be an IPS version with optional six-speed automatic transmission. I’m also really looking forward to a new version of the Exige, available early next year, that will carry the monster V6 from the Evora.
Lotus Evora S was supplied by Lotus Leeds, part of the JCT600 group. Tel: 0844 8447449 www.jct600.co.uk