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.