DRIVEN: LOTUS EVORA S IPS
Two-pedal Evora S expands auto options ... for those that way inclined
OK, first things first, if it was our own cash putting an Evora on the driveway, it would be a manual model.
thesupercharged engine and IPS gearbox in isolation, but they can now be had in combination.
A necessary evil
Launched to appease the Middle to Far East, and to a lesser extent the American market, this car occupies a narrow but hopefully profitable gap in the company's portfolio. And with recent events concerning parent firm Proton leaving a question mark over the firm's future, anything that can help stabilise its survival should be welcomed.
Old school auto
Drive this car as intended and the gearbox soon reveals its low-tech torque-converter origins though. While the throttle pedal promises instant response, the gearbox is reluctant to react, suddenly followed by some furious cog-swapping in a desperate attempt to select the correct ratio.
Up the creek with a paddle
If the Harrop supercharger is allowed to clear its throat and aim for the high notes the Evora S IPS demonstrates cracking pace. All is well, until, with throttle opened fully, you reach for the next ratio and after a noticeable lull in acceleration the gear engages with a thump through the drivetrain. There's less than snappy responses on the downshift cycle as well; too often the gearbox enthusiastically blips the revs but then leaves you waiting for the gear to fully engage - normally just as you pass the apex you were once aiming for.
Yes you can drive round these problems. A reduction of right foot angle as each change begins smoothens things out for instance and recalibration of the driver's brain sorts the timing on the road. But whatever you do this remains a frustrating package, not only because of that gearbox, but because all of the incredible bits of the Evora continue to shine through.
LOTUS EVORA S IPS
Engine: 3,456cc V6, supercharged
Power (hp): 350@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@4,500rpm
0-62mph: 4.7 sec
Top speed: 172mph
MPG: 29.3mpg (NEDC combined)
Price: £73,950 (as tested)