Having made its worldwide debut at the London Motor Show, Lotus has released the final official specifications for what is now known as the Evora – originally born Project Eagle.
Lotus’ first all-new car since the Elise in 1995 enters the market as currently the world’s only mid-engined 2+2.
The all-alloy 2GR-FE 3.5-litre V6 DOHC dual VVT-i engine borrowed from Toyota has undergone some significant tuning by the Lotus engineering team.
Lotus has painstakingly developed its own T6e engine management software for this engine to optimise its compatibility with the unique requirements of the Evora.
The end result is 206kW at 6400 rpm with maximum torque rising to 342Nm at 4700rpm, mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox, again Toyota-sourced.
Full performance figures for the Evora are yet to be tested; however current prototypes have recorded a sub-five second sprint from 0 to 100km/h and a top speed of 256km/h.
With the Evora barely tipping the scales at 1350kg, and boasting a far more civilised V6 engine, it is a genuine performance 2+2 coupe which boasts a fuel consumption figure of just 7.8-litres per 100km with CO2 emissions expected to be a class leading sub-225 g/km.
The suspension wishbones have been forged from aluminium to save unsprung mass, with the Evora employing Bilstein high performance dampers and Eibach springs with unique dual-path top mounts for optimised vehicle refinement.
The brake package consists of high performance bespoke Lotus AP Racing 4 pot callipers biting down on 350mm vented and cross-drilled brake rotors on the front and 332mm at the rear.
Extensive brake testing on the formidable Nürburgring has delivered excellent thermal performance and outstanding feel even after extended sessions of extreme punishment and was also used to finalise settings for the ABS system being developed in conjunction with Bosch.
Unlike the Elise and Exige which feature completely unassisted steering, the Evora also includes hydraulically assisted power steering provided by a Lotus tuned TRW steering rack.
The Switchable Lotus Traction Control (LTC) system – which can be completely deactivated – has been developed simultaneously with the ABS and works through the engine management system to reduce power when required to maintain traction, reacting much faster than brake-based systems.
The Evora sports a staggered wheel setup, sporting 18-inch alloys at the front and 19-inch at the rear wrapped in Yokohama 225/40 ZR18 and larger diameter 255/35 ZR19 rubber respectively.
The Evora represents the next evolution of the Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) from the Lotus APX concept vehicle previously showcased at the Geneva Motorshow – with the entire chasses and modules weighing just 200kg.
The final structure delivers a torsional stiffness of 26,000Nm 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.
The Lotus Evora is expected to reach Australian showrooms by March 2009 with final options and prices published closer to the sale date.