Lotus will give the new Evora flagship its southern hemisphere debut in Melbourne.
Expected to go on sale here this year, the Evora has generated extensive interest — and orders — since it was unveiled at the British International Motor Show in July 2008.
The mid-engined 2+2 sports car is designed to deliver 21st-century performance with practicality and economy.
It will complement the existing four-model Lotus range of Elise, Exige, Europa and 2-Eleven, and embodies the traditional Lotus combination of light weight and high performance.
The rear-drive Evora is powered by a Lotus-tuned all-alloy 3.5-litre V6 with variable valve timing mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
The car’s aluminium chassis and powerful engine enable it to go from zero to 100km/h in five seconds, with a top speed of around 270km/h.
The car is designed to be both a luxury coupe and a practical high-performance sports car.
Because one of the roles of the Evora is to attract new customers to the Lotus brand, much attention has been paid to its ease of use.
Wider, taller door apertures and narrower sills make it easier to get in and out of the cabin than it is in Lotus’s smaller sports cars like the Elise, Exige, Europa and 2-Eleven, while the design of the cabin itself will accommodate two tall adults in the front seats.
The convenience factor of the Evora extends to less obvious areas of the car.
Beneath the skin, the entire front-end structure is a hi-tech aluminium crash box attached to the main extruded aluminium tub.
This modular unit is designed to deform for maximum safety and to reduce repair costs in the event of a frontal impact.
The Evora has been designed with global automotive regulations in mind and future derivatives include plans for a convertible.
It will be hand-crafted and built on a dedicated new assembly line within Lotus’s advanced manufacturing facility at Hethel in the east of England.
Because of capacity limitations, Lotus only expects to build 2000 cars a year, which will ensure the car’s rarity and exclusivity.
With 2+2 seating, small children can be put in the back.
Lotus is not talking price just yet, but it is expected to rival the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster.
The 2009 Melbourne International Motor Show...