Lotus is assuring great memories…
A seismic shift occurred when Geely Holding bought Lotus in 2017. Suddenly cash flush, Lotus loudly announced its new direction with their hypercar Evija, and the world took notice.
But in a broader stroke, Lotus may be declaring that if, like the dinosaurs, the internal combustion engine is destined for extinction, why not spend the next decade or so building fun little machines that will give us all fond memories in our old ages.
On the heels of that $2M Evija comes the Evora GT, a car pointed squarely to sports car enthusiasts weary of technology capable of nursemaiding less than capable drivers around a track. Think, me. Recently able to spend the better part of an afternoon pulling the paddle shifters of the slick little gearbox, my memories are still fresh.
First a confession; I’m shallow. I want a sports car that catches the eye, causes finger pointing, and induces instant envy in those around. On Michigan Avenue and out on to Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, everyone stared. I would have been less conspicuous on a Rose Bowl Float, and I consciously resisted doing the Queen’s wave.
Though the exterior has been tweaked a bit from the older 400/410, it’s somehow more exotic-looking, in part thanks to the generous carbon fiber (a $10,000 option). For the money, you get a very nice front hood panel, engine cover, and trick rear diffuser plus bumper. Worth the cost in looks and it shaves 50 pounds in weight.
Forget practicality, there is very little visibility to the sides and the rear view mirror gives one the feeling of looking out the gun slit in a bunker. But who cares. It’s the road in front that’s important. Adding to impractical, inside it’s you, a lucky passengers, and very little cargo storage. In exchange, Lotus has handed you one of the finest driving machines that money can buy.
Inside, the new GT is comfortable, attractive, though not spartan, with a fit and finish that says serious, with an expensive look and feel. It comes standard with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth integration and a rearview camera to boot.
Propelled by a supercharged 3.5L V-6 , the GT is now seriously fast, scooting to 60 MPH in 3.8 seconds. But the real kick is the handling. Uncanny how the Evora GT feels so like the car it most reminds me of, and it’s not from Porsche, but from McLaren, the McLaren 570.
Like the McLaren, the Lotus GT dives into corners with incredible road feel, inspiring just as much confidence as the 570. And though the McLaren comes out on top in acceleration (570 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, Lotus GT 3.8 seconds), that half second costs you $100,000, You can still pick up a 2020 Range Rover with the difference in price. I’m just saying.
At 90% of the fun and 50% of the cost of its closest competitor, the 2020 Lotis Evora GT is one hell of a bargain. Makes me think Lotus is headed in a wonderful new direction.
A big thanks to Rob Mancuso at Mancuso MotorSports in Chicago for always letting me exercise a bit of his inventory.