A Lotus engineer told us that the reason the cars handle so well is because the company has gone through so many twists and turns. This sort of candor seems to be the rule from one of the U.K.'s few remaining car companies.
We spent a day with Lotus staff while driving the latest model, the 2010 Evora, around the track at Laguna Seca and through the serpentine roads in Monterey, and learned to expect honesty from the employees of this idiosyncratic organization.
Probably the greatest expression of honesty is in the cars themselves. Lotus has no tricks up its proverbial sleeves; the company makes pure sports cars through simply good engineering.
Take the 2010 Lotus Evora. It uses a unique extruded aluminum chassis, a center tub with bolt-on front and rear pieces. Along with its composite body panels, that structure keeps the total weight down to just over 3,000 pounds. It also results in a stiff body structure that ensures the Evora exhibits the same sort of handling prowess that marks the Lotus Elise and Exige.
But where the Evora differs from Lotus' other models is in its cabin space. Because Lotus concentrates on building small, lightweight cars, its earlier models require the limberness of a yoga instructor to enter and exit. One of the guiding principles in the development of the Evora was that it should accommodate a 6-foot-5-inch driver. It was also designed for 2+2 seating, although the rear seat is actually an option. … Read more