• Jan 8, 2009
Click above for high-res image gallery of the Lotus Evora

When Lotus showed off its new Evora at the LA Auto Show in November, Engineering director Roger Becker made it clear that the car we were seeing was just the beginning. Lotus has never been a company with the resources to develop completely new cars every few years. Instead they design a car and then continually evolve it over the course of 10-20 years. The initial car with a naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 will hit the streets this spring with 276 hp.

A couple of years from now Lotus will stuff a supercharger into the valley between the cylinder banks to pump that up to around 350 hp. That should be enough to boost the top end from 160 mph to around 175 mph. Before that happens, however, the kids in Hethel will be adding something not seen in a Lotus for many years -- an automatic transmission -- specifically for Americans too lazy to shift. A roadster variant is also being developed, and Autocar claims that Lotus will fit the Evora with a retracting hard-top. Given the modest dimensions of Lotus' new 2+2, it'll be interesting to see if they can stuff all that hardware into the coupe without spoiling the Evora's stunning good looks.


[Source: AutoCar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      saying that Americans are too lazy to shift is not necessarily "America" bashing, it's a fact. our roads, traffic density, driving habits, etc. make most people unwilling to buy a manual because they don't want to do the extra work probably for the same reason most people are unwilling to exercise... something typically referred to as laziness. how's that not true?

      anyway, i love America, i love the Evora, and i would love to have one with a manual. until SMG-style transmissions all have dual-clutches, predictable shift-programming (such as on the GT-R), and lower prices, i'll row my own gears. if i want a driving experience solely operated from my right foot, i'll just do that in my daily driver.
        • 6 Years Ago
        if i want a driving experience solely operated from my right foot, i'll just do that in my daily driver.
        I couldn't agree more. going 20 mph in rush hour traffic is no fun at all; but on the weekends when it's leisure time i am more than happy to shift my own gears.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Koosh, Sam Abuelsamid, and anyone else who claims Americans are too lazy (to shift, or do anything else):

        Here is the truth about the so-called laziness of the American public.

        Year 1997:
        http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/inf/pr/1999/29.htm
        "US workers put in the longest hours on the job in industrialized nations, clocking up nearly 2,000 hours per capita in 1997... The long working hours of US and Japanese workers... contrasts most sharply with those of European workers, who are logging progressively fewer hours on the job, particularly in the Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden where hours worked in 1997 were, respectively 1,399 and 1,552 per year... In Germany (Western), the annual total of working hours was just under 1,560 in 1996..."

        Circa Year 2006:
        http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/lazear20060713.html
        "Productivity growth in the United States exceeds that of the other G-7 countries and is among the worldwide leaders... the average number of hours worked in the United States exceeds that in most European countries by a good margin. For example, a typical worker in the U.S. works one eight hour day per week more than the typical worker in France and Germany."

        Circa Year 2007:
        http://www.startribune.com/168/story/913900.html
        "we [American workers] work 16 percent more hours a year than Europeans do -- roughly an extra seven weeks."

        As the facts show, Americans are too "lazy" for manual transmissions, because we are too busy working longer hours on the job. Those of you who whine about "lazy" Americans, were simply to lazy to check the facts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe Americans aren't "too lazy" to shift.

      Maybe they prefer not to.

      Seems to me most manufacturers are switching away from the traditional manual transmission anyway.

      Belgians put Mayo on their fries. Would you write "those nasty Belgians served up fries with a disgusting dollop of Mayo on them"? Japanese and English drive on the left, would you say that they are "too stupid to know which side of the road to drive on"?

      I'm sick of the America bashing. I'm here for posts on cars and stuff related to cars. If I needed anti-Americanism I would watch Top Gear Tehran.

      Whatever it is that Americans are, we are the key to the worlds economy and therefore if we want something (cupholders, airbags, 20" rims, etc) any sane manufacturer should probably provide it.

      That one line made me forget all about the Lotus.

      Thanks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry, no matter how you spin it, a slushbox in a sports car is stupid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Eddie, nothing wrong with DSG, it's not an automatic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Shifting just gets in the way of my shaving and texting. But seriously, I find as I get older I do indeed prefer less shifting...probably because I drive boring vehicles in boring places.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There are many things about America that are better than any other nation on earth.



        But the desire to drive Lotuses with automatic transmissions is not one of them. An automatic Lotus is blasphemy and an affront to the brand's core values. It certainly won't damage them in the US, but it might in the UK (Lotus' biggest market by far), where driving an automatic sportscar is seen as really girly. If Lotus is not careful, this could be the same kind of debacle for them that the 928 was for Porsche.


        • 6 Years Ago
        I for one would not drive ANYTHING RWD not in a manual unless it's an SUV. My left leg gets jealous. If I can't double-clutch when I'm feeling frisky, it's not worth it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great post. Maybe Lotus will put some fur on the dashboard just for you.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You *arrogant* American!! :P
        • 6 Years Ago
        DSG is now wide spread enough you would think any sporty car would have it as a traditional manual alternative. I currently have a regular old manual but next car I get will be dsg or some variation thereof. Philly traffic sucks without it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The car's nice, but I wouldn't say it has "stunning good looks" personally. Also, automatic transmission bashing in car circles gets really annoying. I'm perfectly capable of rowing my own gears, but much of the time I just don't want to. That doesn't make either transmission better or worse than the other. They're just different. The elitist "I can drive a manual" mentality really should stop.
        • 6 Years Ago
        cdwrx,

        Generally speaking, a reasonably skilled driver can wring faster lap times/0-60 times out of a manual, because a conventional clutch is a more efficient and quicker than a torque converter- the process of changing gears on an automatic uses some of the engine's power. This is especially true with low-torque four cylinder engines, where it is not uncommon to see differences up more than two seconds for 0-60 runs. For example, the Scion xB has been timed as low as 7.7 second in the 0-60 sprint with a manual, and as high as 10.4 seconds with an automatic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The SMG in the BMW (my favorite brand by the way) does infact suck, The DSG is an entire different experience and I bet the Nissan dsg and porsche are also 100% better then the SMG. I have only tried the VW version of DSG but bmw has one now to. The VW is flawless. You have to try a dual clutch it is so much different from the smg. And the new ones are supposed to be even better then the VW one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        maybe some people are elitist about it, but compared to a torque-converter-based automatic transmission, you just can't dispute that a manual is in fact better. shorter shift times, less drivetrain losses, lower costs, lower weight, and frankly a higher fun factor all add up to something that to me, is pretty much better, haha.

        i've driven an SMG-M3 quite a bit, and though it may be a bad example since its a single-clutch version, it highlights the problem of using a racing-style semi-automatic on the street: works great when driving hard, but in everything else, tends to be a little unpredictable like a regular automatic. i have no problem with a DSG-type transmission being offered, it's just not for me (though i would gladly take a GT-R, haha).
        • 6 Years Ago
        ?? you referring to a DSG-type automatic? sure, definitely can't shift faster than that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Koosh,

        There is no way you can shift a manual faster than an automatic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        cdwrx: WHAT?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ooh, my first one-star comment. Obviously automatics use more of the engine's power resulting in slower performance. That has nothing to do with the speed of the *shifts*.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Didn't Toyota just kill TRD in OZ?
      What will they do with the Eaton TVS supercharger?
      (let Lotus use it, let Lotus put an intercooler between blower & manifold)

      350hp 300ft-lbs is plenty of power. If the 6 speed auto from the Camry works, why not? Let it top out at 175mph in 5th gear, let 6th gear cruise (it will still go 155mph)
      It could have good shift points: 1-35mph 2-65mph 3-90mph 4-130mph 5-175mph 6-160mph
      • 6 Years Ago
      S/C =Cool
      Auto Tranny =Uncool
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have no problem with an automatic being availible. I would think/hope that it's actually a DSG style paddle shift with an automatic mode (and hopefully dual clutch like the DSG)
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is the car the NSX should have become.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Something about the fact that this thing has the Camry's V6 crammed under there is pretty funny to me.
      But it definitely saves them a lot of time since all the engineering has been done. Even if the TRD Aurion doesn't exist anymore, all the tuning for the supercharger should be perfect.
      I do hope that they adjust the transmission gear shifts to be more appropriate for a tiny lightweight racer though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Tesla?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tesla worked with Lotus on the development of their roadster, including the styling. Some resemblance to the Tesla is not surprising, there was probably some overlap of the two projects in the Lotus design studio.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is way up top on my what-cars-am-I-going-to-buy-when-I-win-the-lottery list. (The list itself is shorter than the name of the list.) It is a beautiful car.

      As for the automatic in a Lotus, I don't want it. I can't blame people for having other preferences than me nor can I blame Lotus for wanting to reach the most people. Hey, since I can't actually afford it, maybe it will make it more likely I will see one driving around. :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I bet it will be 911 priced... actually not out of reach...
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