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    Richard Hammond on Evora



    Lotus seater! Lotus could have thought of a sexier name for its new sports car but otherwise it looks like a job well done. Very well done, in fact.

    How many mid-engined cars can you think of that are able to carry a couple of extra people in the back? Correct, none.

    True, the back seats of the Evora are more Hammond-sized than tall adult but they're big enough for kids or for a run down to the pub. Lotus is also building a two-seat-only version that it's calling the 2+0. It's cheaper, too, at £47,500 (the 2+2 is £49,875).

    These prices put the Evora firmly in Porsche Cayman territory. Lotus has been plagued in the past by a dodgy reputation when it comes to interiors. The Esprit, for example, was an absolutely fabulous car to drive but sometimes bits didn't work - like electric windows - or trim came away if you went over a speed bump.

    The new car, however, should make amends - it looks just fantastic inside, with neat aluminium instrument mounts and quality plastic parts. The Evora also looks stunning from the outside - just wait until you see one in the metal.

    The model is powered by a Toyota 3.5-litre V6 with 280bhp but that doesn't mean the engine has been plucked straight out of a Toyota. Lotus boffins in Norfolk have fiddled extensively with the engine to make it suitable for a proper sports car and, in the process, have managed to get its emissions down to 205g/km, which is pretty impressive for a biggish motor. But you want to know how fast it'll go, don't you? I know I do.

    Lotus is claiming a zippy 0-60mph time of about 5.0sec as well as a top speed of around 170mph - plenty quick enough, in other words. But this model isn't just about tearing away from the traffic lights.

    Because it's a Lotus it will handle like a racing car while also offering a ride that's not so stiff it will knock your teeth out. In fact, I can't think of a car that I'm more looking forward to driving than this new Lotus. It'll have a job on its hands to beat the fantastic Porsche Cayman.

    But it's a Lotus - and it's built in Britain by British craftsman - so even if it can't out-corner a Cayman, it's still going to be a top-quality motor. And if that doesn't make you come over all patriotic I honestly don't know what will."



    Re: Richard Hammond on Evora

    The heart of a car for me is its engine. For a special car it must be a bespoke engine designed for the car and made by the car manufacturer. An engine borrowed from Toyota no matter if it was tweaked is not pure enough.

    Lotus should be able to make their own engines if they want to get promoted to the upper league and play with Porsche.

    Hammond appealing to british patriotism is also little suspect, implying absence of more objective convincing reasons to buy perhaps?

    It's not where you're going, it's how you get there that counts



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