lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
hp @ 6400 rpm
lbs per hp
hp per liter
below 5 seconds
Press Release) With its stunning
visual impact, exhilarating all-round dynamic performance,
innovative chassis technology and high levels of luxury, 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 280 PS, and weighing just 1350 kg (prototype
specification), the Evora promises breathtaking performance. During
preliminary testing around the famous Nürburgring, the Lotus chassis
engineers report that it is extremely agile and great fun to drive -
even when clad with the full development disguise that hid the
beautiful lines from the prying motor-industry paparazzi.
In addition to its excellent performance and exemplary handling, the
Evora offers a more refined ownership experience than Lotus’s
existing smaller four-cylinder models. Its elegantly styled cabin is
elegantly trimmed and its equipment list includes contemporary
features such as an advanced touch-screen multi-media system and
electric power-fold door 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 door apertures and narrower sills make getting in and
out of the cabin a less athletic undertaking than it is in Lotus’s
smaller sports cars (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
of the car. For instance, beneath the skin the entire front-end
structure is a high tech aluminium sacrificial modular unit,
attached to the main extruded aluminium tub. This modular 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, these including amongst
others, a convertible.
The Evora will be hand crafted and built on a dedicated new 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 the dynamic new sports
car’s rarity and exclusivity.
Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc, has this to say about the
exciting 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 many more markets around the world. The
Evora also represents Lotus core values of performance through light
weight and efficiency and proves that you can have phenomenal
performance, fuel efficiency elegant design and practicality all in
a class leading mid-engine 2+2 sportscar, which will meet global
safety and homologation standards”
Mike Kimberley continues, “Looking to the future, we will continue
to research, develop and produce lighter, more efficient vehicles
which are linked to our extensive and well-regarded work on all
aspects of future fuels, alternative engines and electric and hybrid
vehicle solutions for the future. We all have an environmental
responsibility to future generations and the Evora is another
example where Lotus is seen to make significant steps towards
improving the efficiency and sustainability of the motorcar keeping
Britain at the forefront of the high technology motor industry.”
THE EVORA IN DETAIL
Style or function? Have
Designed ‘in-house’ by Lotus Design, the sleek and athletic form
uses fluid forms and crisp surfaces to communicate velocity, agility
and sophistication. Low and wide with modern cab forward
proportions, muscular rear haunches and function optimised hip air
intakes this is clearly a serious mid engined sportscar that
skilfully hides the practicality of its two plus two capability.
Russell Carr, Head of Lotus Design, led the Evora’s design team with
Steven Crijns, Design Manager responsible for the exterior and
Anthony Bushell, Senior Designer, responsible for the interior.
“A cornerstone of the design's success was working closely with the
technical team to develop a package that allowed us to get the
proportions correct,” says Head of Design Russell Carr, “The
asymmetric wheel sizes, the short rear overhang, long front overhang
and cab forward visor screen all contribute to giving the car visual
movement and an agile stance. This is incredibly important to us
because we want the car's aesthetics to communicate its driving
Lotus products have always embodied a perfect balance between form
and function and the Evora successfully continues this heritage. “We
never lost sight of the fact that, although this car must provide
real world useability, sportscars are emotional purchases and that
you have to seduce the customer through beguiling looks and exotic
persona. We are, therefore, very proud that we have been able to use
technical and user functionality to positively drive the design in
key areas and create some of the car’s most distinctive features”.
Ingress and egress, for example, dictated a minimal “step-over” to
get into the Evora. We simply cut away the surface under the door
and created a unique and dramatic piece of sculpture that enhances
the stance of the car as well as its useability.
Elsewhere, aerodynamic considerations for drag, down force and
cooling had significant but positive influence on the overall form
and details such as air intakes. A desire to create balanced down
force, that increases cornering performance, led to the adoption of,
the now, “signature” top exit radiator vent, race car inspired
diffuser and “floating rear wing”. Drag limitation, drove the
dramatic tear-dropped cabin layout and the curvaceous plan view has
given the car a more muscular rear shoulder and conveys a level of
sophistication appropriate to this market segment.
“We believe that our designs should be honest as well as dramatic
and so we are really pleased with the fact that these iconic
features all do a real job” says Steven Crijns, Design Manager.
This inherent understanding of the relationship between the
technical and the aesthetic paid dividends the first time a
full-scale model of the Evora was wind-tunnel tested – only minimal
adjustments were required to the car’s aerodynamic package to meet
the targets for downforce and stability.
Steve Crijns continued, “Overall the design language shows a clear
DNA link with its Lotus siblings, whilst establishing its own
distinctive and contemporary theme. The undulating shoulder line is
brilliantly mirrored in the lower part of the bodyside by the cut
-away sill that creates a torseau-like muscularity.”
“The front three-quarter view is really powerful” Russell Carr
continues, “Your eye is drawn effortlessly, from our signature
mouth, rearward by fluid surfaces and fast lines that create a sense
of speed even when the car is stationary. From this angle you can
also see how dramatically the visor screen sweeps around the
teardrop form of the cabin and the gently waisted plan shape
perfectly accentuates the muscularity of the rear fender. This is
unmistakeably mid engined language and the Evora is unmistakeably a
The view from the rear three-quarters is just as striking and the
one that many will become familiar with as the car passes them on
the road. The tapered cabin, diffuser, floating wing, centrally
mounted twin tailpipes and distinctive engine bay vents all combine
to create a completely unique look.
Moving right inside…
The design language of
the interior reflects that of the exterior – simple, fluid surfaces,
soft forms and crisp feature lines wrap around the cabin cosseting
the occupants. Unlike recent Lotus products that use a race car
inspired, technical minimalism, the Evora employs a softer approach
that utilises premium quality materials and finishes to create a
contemporary but luxurious ambience that is unique to Lotus
It is, according to Head of Lotus Design Russell Carr, “A huge
departure from what people might expect based on Lotus’s recent
past. We wanted the Evora’s cabin to feel special and to be
surprising as well as sporty. Precision engineered metal inserts and
quality edge-lit switches are brilliantly juxtaposed against soft
hand-stitched leather surfaces to give a modern interior with a
Russell Carr continues, “The flat bottomed steering wheel, figure
hugging sports seat, contemporary instrumentation and ergonomically
positioned controls provide an intuitive environment that instantly
forms a connection between driver and car ensuring that it becomes
an extension of his or her body.“
Anthony Bushell Senior Designer explained about the choice of
materials in the Evora’s interior, “Tactile quality is incredibly
important within this segment and so we wanted the interior to use
honest premium materials. Much of the switchgear is bespoke, and
every metallic component is actually metal.”
Focused courtesy lighting is used throughout the interior, giving a
spectacular illuminated feel to the sculpture design feature of the
The extensive use of handcrafted, premium leather differentiates The
Evora from other Lotus products and such is its importance to the
character of the car that an entire new trim shop has been built at
the Lotus Headquarters in the UK, dedicated to its production.
Even the entry level versions of the Evora will feature
leather-upholstered seats, upper door trim panels and facia, but it
is expected that most customers will opt for the full hide
treatment. With a range of leather colours available, customers will
have the opportunity to personalise their Evora.
also features in the Evora’s cabin. A newly developed Alpine
multi-media system with a 7 inch touch-screen provides advanced
audio, satellite navigation, video, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone
and iPod® connectivity functions; the screen also serves as a
monitor for The Evora’s optional reversing camera. The satellite
navigation element of the system is removable, allowing you to
programme it from the comfort of your home, or take it with you to
continue your journey in an unfamiliar pedestrian location.
The Alpine audio set-up is one of the most sophisticated automotive
systems in the world. Called IMPRINT and using MultEQ sound
enhancement technology, it is able to cancel out sound imbalances,
caused by the cabin window glass, for instance, creating echoes,
while carpets suppress mid-range frequencies – resulting in
amazingly crisp, clear, undistorted sound reproduction wherever you
are seated in the car.
A bespoke air-conditioning system developed by Bergstrom is standard
on all models, and has been designed for the hottest climate or the
closest humidity to help provide maximum occupant comfort. Lotus
traction control and on-board tyre pressure monitoring will also be
One size fits all
The front seats
themselves are very supportive and leather clad with a lightweight
manual adjustment mechanism for fore and aft, rake and lumbar,
designed to give a supported driving position.
The rear seats of 2+2 versions of the Evora –are intended for
children and smaller adults. There will also be a two-seater
derivative with a luggage shelf in the back. To maximise comfort in
the rear, there’s a decent amount of foot-room under the seats in
front, while both back seats feature ISOFIX mountings for secure
child seat fitment.
When unoccupied, the rear seats provide a convenient stowage area,
adding to the Evora’s appeal as an everyday car. The 160 litre boot,
which ingeniously features a fresh air cooling system to reduce the
effect of any heat ingress from the engine bay, will also
accommodate a full set of golf clubs.
Easy in, easy out
With the Elise and its
derivatives, the no-compromise character of the car makes getting in
and out across a wide sill and through a comparatively narrow
door/window aperture part of the charm of ownership. For the Evora
and its remit for the serious daily driver, and to attract newcomers
to the Lotus brand, greater convenience and practicality is
As a consequence the sill is now lower and slimmer (80mm wide
compared with 100mm in the Elise), and the whole door aperture
taller. The doors open wider than on the Elise and its siblings,
while the height of the front seat is raised by 65mm.
But while The Evora is undeniably more ‘lifestyle’ in respect of its
everyday practicality, once you’re seated behind its flat-bottomed
steering wheel, it feels every bit as exotic and sporting as you
would expect a Lotus to be.
Safely does it
In common with the Elise
and its derivatives, The Evora’s bonded extruded aluminium chassis
tub has incredible inherent strength, particularly in regard to side
impacts. Additional torsional strength is given to the whole
structure by the tubular steel seatbelt anchorage frame that also
acts as a rollover structure.
Deformable sacrificial aluminium front and steel rear subframe
modules are attached to the tub using joints which are designed to
minimise damage to the tub, protecting the main passenger cell in
the event of an accident.
Driver and passenger airbags are standard. The airbag on the
passenger side is cleverly engineered to deploy vertically and then
be deflected rearwards by the windscreen, to provide protection for
children as well as adults.
Anti-lock brakes are standard on all models, as is Lotus Traction
Control (LTC); these systems have been specially developed in
co-operation with Bosch and enable up and coming drivers to
consistently exploit the braking and acceleration capabilities of
the Evora, whilst allowing skilled enthusiasts the freedom to enjoy
the full Lotus driving experience.
The chassis: Production Low Volume
Versatile Vehicle Architecture
The Evora’s chassis is
an evolution of the Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) from the
Lotus APX concept vehicle previously showcased at the Geneva
Motorshow, and allows for the development of a range of vehicles up
to a gross vehicle weight of 1,900 kg. This architecture has been
designed to be more applicable to mid-volume applications by
utilising our low capital investment manufacturing processes. The
Evora structure progresses the Lotus ‘bonded and riveted’ technology
used in the Elise family of vehicles with unique extrusions and
folded panels, whilst providing contemporary ease of ingress/egress,
build modularity and improved, lower cost repairs.
The Low Volume VVA architecture has been designed so that it can be
extended in width, length and height. The strength and stiffness of
the low volume VVA chassis can be modified cost effectively by
varying the wall thickness of the extrusions, without altering the
exterior dimensions. The ability to lengthen or shorten extrusions
with the option to tailor the chassis stiffness, vastly increases
the number of vehicles that can be developed from this vehicle
architecture. Front and mid engine installations have been
considered, as well as hybrid and Electric Vehicle (EV)
The Lotus Evora employs a composite roof as a stressed structural
member to give an exceptional vehicle stiffness of 26,000 Nm per
degree, thanks in part to the seatbelt anchorage frame’s secondary
function as a roll over structure, and partly because the high-tech
composite body panels are stressed items. However, despite this high
stiffness, the complete chassis and modules weight just 200 kg
(prototype weight), helping to keep the weight of the whole car to
just 1350 kg (prototype weight).
To deliver this high performance structure, bonded and riveted high
grade aluminium extrusions and simple and elegant folded sheet
elements are used in the lower structure, building upon award
winning research projects in this field. Lotus pioneered the
technology of bonded aluminium extrusions for use in road vehicles
and has successfully developed high performance cars for other car
companies around the world.
The central tub is attached to an extruded aluminium subframe at the
front and a lightweight welded steel subframe at the rear. These
subframe modules also offer advantages in terms of convenience and
low cost of repair, and during manufacturing can be brought to the
production line fully assembled, ready to be attached.
The high technology Lotus Evora chassis will be manufactured at the
new Lotus Lightweight Structures facility in Worcester, UK. LLS
employs 120 skilled engineers, technicians and sales staff and will
manufacture all the Lotus aluminium structures, including those for
the Elise, Exige, 2–Eleven and Europa and aluminium and composite
structures and components for Lotus’s extensive global client base.
Suspended & animated
The Evora suspension
wishbones are forged from aluminium to reduce the unsprung mass.
These are similar in weight, and stiffer than the steel items found
on the much smaller Elise, Exige and Europa vehicles, and have a far
higher vehicle weight capacity. They are attached to the front and
rear modules via bespoke bushes. The Evora will use Bilstein high
performance dampers and Eibach springs with unique dual path top
mounts for optimised vehicle refinement. Hydraulically assisted
power steering is provided by a Lotus tuned TRW steering rack.
All in all, the Evora delivers. It has incredible Lotus handling and
provides unsurpassable driving pleasure. In fact, word from the ride
and handling team is that the new car is likely to become a class
standard-setter for speed and agility.
Stop right now…
Vented and cross-drilled
brake discs – massive 350mm items on the front and 332mm at the rear
– and high performance bespoke Lotus AP Racing 4 pot callipers
ensure impressive stopping power.
Everyone connected with the brake testing programme, conducted on
the punishing corners, climbs and descents of the Nürburgring, has
described the brakes as ‘phenomenal’ with excellent thermal
performance and outstanding feel even after extended sessions of
Part of that testing programme was to finalise settings for the ABS
system being developed in conjunction with Bosch. The system is set
to very high thresholds and operates so progressively that drivers
are often unaware that they have actually triggered the ABS.
Safe. Fun. Lotus Traction Control
The Switchable Lotus
Traction Control (LTC) system has been developed simultaneously with
the ABS and works through the engine management system to reduce
power when required to maintain traction. Unlike many traction
control systems, LTC has been tuned to complement the skills of the
driver without taking over. The Lotus LTC is active above 5 mph (8
km/h) and operates much more quickly than many brake based systems.
The system can be deactivated completely, giving no traction control
Keeping a grip – 18 inch at the
front, 19 inch at the rear.
Tyre choice is a vital
component in the handling performance of every Lotus and for the
Evora, Yokohama was chosen as development partner.
Lotus’s long-term relationship with Yokohama was swiftly rewarded
during development when initially the front tyre size did not
generate the Lotus required lateral grip, the Japanese grip gurus
went away and developed bespoke tyres especially for the Evora – a
225/40 ZR18 at the front and larger diameter; 255/35 ZR19 at the
rear. Both have carcass construction and a rubber compound unique to
Lotus and are identified by the letters ‘LTS’ on the sidewalls.
The V6 Engine - dual VVT-i
(‘intelligent’ variable valve timing)
The exceptional working
relationship that Lotus has enjoyed with Toyota over several
decades, combined with the overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception for
the company’s four-cylinder power units in the Elise and Exige,
guaranteed the Japanese giant’s inclusion on the shortlist for the
Evora engine supplier.
The final choice was Toyota’s all-alloy 2GR-FE 3.5-litre V6 DOHC,
with dual VVT-i (‘intelligent’ variable valve timing). Lotus has
painstakingly developed its own T6e engine management software for
this engine to optimise its compatibility with the unique
requirements of the Evora to give a peak power output to 280 PS at
6400 rpm, while boosting its maximum torque to 342 Nm at 4700 rpm
Changes to the engine management and exhaust systems also allow the
V6 to rev more freely and provide rapid throttle response; feedback
from the development team suggests that the strength of the engine’s
mid-range torque means that gutsy performance will be easily
accessible without having to thunder through to the redline. This
makes the Lotus Evora a thoroughly satisfying car for everyday road
use and a rewarding one when you just want to drive.
The 2GR-FE V6 engine is mated to a manual six-speed gearbox, again
Toyota-sourced. A close-ratio version of this gearbox is also
currently under development for the even more sport-focussed driver.
Many Lotus owners enjoy the blend of unique performance and
efficiency that the brand’s cars offer. True to the Lotus value of
“performance through light weight” CO2 emissions are expected to be
a class leading sub-225 g/km (prototype figures) while testers
report fuel consumption in the region of 30+ mpg (pending formal
What’ll she do?
At the time of its
unveiling, full performance figures have yet to be compiled on a
production specification Lotus Evora, Lotus has another 6 months
development to conduct.
While for Lotus top speed is of less importance than stability at
speed, early indications suggest a maximum speed of 160 mph; the
0-60 mph sprint from standstill is estimated at sub 5 seconds
Test. Test. Then test some more
It’s a global car, so
the Evora has been tested around the world. From the icy wastes of
the arctic to the heat of the desert, the high altitude of the Alps
as well as the country roads around the Hethel factory.
It has spent hours howling around the Nürburgring and endlessly
lapped Lotus’s test track at Hethel. By the time the Evora enters
production, prototypes will have travelled for hundreds of thousands
of miles along some of the worst public roads in the world and been
tortured for as many miles on some of the toughest proving grounds
the motor industry has to offer including extreme pave tests, to
Australia and even the Arizona outback.
It has been flung into barriers at low and high speeds, at a
multitude of angles, including head-on; it has even had its roof
By the time the Evora reaches the Lotus showrooms from Spring 2009
onwards, it will be the most thoroughly tested Lotus car in the
history of Lotus. It will also be one of the company’s great
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 prices of the production Lotus Evora
will be published closer to the sale date in the many Lotus markets
around the world.
Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive of Group Lotus plc 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.”Notes For Editors:
About Group Lotus plc:
The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Ltd,
which has two operating divisions - Lotus Engineering and Lotus
Cars. Lotus Engineering is an internationally recognised automotive
engineering consultancy based in Norfolk, UK. Global facilities
include those in Michigan (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), China and
offices in Germany and Japan, with rapid expansion in new
territories such as South East Asia and the Gulf States.
Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy
services to many of the world's OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering
a full engineering service from initial concept and project design
through development and integration of the complete vehicle to meet
all worldwide markets and customers to full production. This
includes third party 'niche vehicle' engineering and manufacture
Lotus Cars builds world class, prestige, high performance sports
cars for sale in 37 countries. These include the iconic Lotus Elise,
and the Exige and Europa. Lotus is a global high-tech company,
expanding and committed to driving forward technology for both Lotus
Cars and its Engineering clients, spearheading research into such
areas as hybrids, electric vehicles and renewable fuels.