Car Brands >
Lotus Evora in Detail - (Global) - More
July 28th, 2008
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 footroom 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 provided.
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
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 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
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.
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 extreme use.
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 intervention.
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 (prototype figures).
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 homologation testing).
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. Topspeed of 160 mph; 0-60 mph sub 5 seconds (prototype figures).
Test. Test. Then test some more
It’s a global car, so the Evora has been tested around the world.
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 compressed!
It will also be one of the company’s great milestones. 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.”