This guy's not too popular...http://www.examiner.com/x-1060-Orlando-Auto-Examiner~y2009m6d26-2010-Lotus-Evora-Colin-Chapman-would-be-ashamed
Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus, has a number of famous quotes, such as "Simplicate, then add lightness" and "Adding power makes you faster on the straights, while subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere."
These quotes were what Colin Chapman lived by as his factory turned out Lotus cars for both racing and street use. Lotus' success in Formula 1 in the 1950s and 1960s was directly attributed to his philosophy. The monocoque or unibody chassis structure, which means the body and frame are one in the same, rather than body panels bolted onto a ladder frame, was the brainchild of Colin Chapman.
Unfortunately, Colin Chapman suffered a heart attack and died in 1982, leaving Lotus to carry on building cars without his leadership.
For the most part, Lotus has remained true to Chapman's ideal, by building compact and simple cars that may have not been as powerful as their competitors, but still competed formidably thanks to their light weight and small wheelbases. The driving experience in a Lotus is also regarded as one of the most pure in all of the automobile world, with no extraneous gadgets or unnecessary weight to tarnish the driving nirvana.
Fast forward to 2010, and Lotus is coming out with a new model: the Evora.
And Colin Chapman is rolling in his grave.
The car is a 2+2 mid-engined coupe that is substantially larger than its wildly successful little sibling, the Elise. Set to cost around $75,000, the Evora is supposed to fill the gap between the Elise and the return of the Esprit supercar planned for 2012.
Sadly though, the Evora doesn't deserve its position in the Lotus lineup, because it truthfully doesn't deserve to wear the Lotus badge... not when it weighs 3000lbs.
Those 3000lbs don't come from ridiculously advanced suspension or chassis design either (although Lotus claims the all-new aluminum chassis is 1.5 times stiffer than the Elise). The extra weight comes from gadgetry and amenities more suited to family sedans than sports cars. Sound deadening, power windows and door locks, an Alpine GPS navi/entertainment system, and a backup camera.
The styling of the car is similarly bland and uninspiring. The Esprit, in its deceptively and elegantly simple stance, was still brash and in-your-face, drawing attention to itself and making sure you knew it was a supercar. Unfortunately, the Evora, although it is covered in vents and scoops and other random hard lines, strangely manages to look boring and bloated in comparison to the Esprit or even the Elise. It looks more like a poser's fashion piece rather than a genuine sports car. The front end evokes styling cues that were fresh and new about five years ago, and the back end looks more Japanese than British.
These allusions to humdrum Japanese family cars are not arbitrary, by the way. The most heinous part of the Evora is its engine.
The 3.5L 276-hp V6 is lifted straight out of a Toyota Camry. Yes, that's right. Regardless of the tuning that Lotus has done to it, in spite of its raspy growl, and even though it propels the Evora to 60 in 5 seconds and on to 160mph and still manages 30mpg highway... the engine is taken from a Toyota Camry.
One can take a placebo, put some blue food coloring on it, and put it in a bottle labeled Viagra, but nothing changes the fact that it's still a placebo.
For the record, yes, the Elise also uses a Toyota engine, but that's a high-revving, high-performance 1.8L 4cyl that saw use in a Celica, which had far more sporting intentions than a Camry. Also, yes, the Esprit weighed 3000lbs toward the end of its life, and it too was burdened with leather and a few other unnecessary luxuries. But the Esprit was also powered by a powerful and race-proven 350hp twin-turbo V8 that Lotus designed and built themselves. Thus, the Esprit was still a formidable supercar.
But the Evora is far more gluttonous and posh than the Elise, and far less focused or powerful than the Esprit was.
Like the blue placebo that's too impotent to be called Viagra, the midlife-crisis Evora is too lethargic to be called a Lotus.