Today Lotus Cars announced their first all new car since the Type 111 Elise in 1994.
The Lotus Evora (named for a town in southern Portugal, apparently) is a mid-engined 2+2, a layout almost unknown in automotive history and first used in the Matra M530. The car is a move upmarket from the Elise with a very sophisticated electronics package clearly designed to appeal to the American market including MP3/iPod support, DVD playback and touchscreen GPS navigation.
It’s powered by a 3.5 liter V6 transversely mounted behind the rear seats. Performance is said to be in the Elise range with times at the ‘Ring being even better than the Elise. The only downside to a Lotus purist is the increase in weight with the Evora weighing in at just under 3,000 lbs, up 50% from the Elise but not surprising for a larger car with a minimal back seat.
The initial 2+2 model will be offered later without the back seat as a 2-seat coupe and there will be supercharged and convertible versions produced later.
Initial sales will start in mid-2009. More information is available at the Lotus Evora minisite.