The Lotus Evora arrived in 2009 promising all the B-road and track day thrills of a Lotus, but wrapped up in a more usable, easygoing and luxurious package than you’d get in the more hardcore Elise or Exige. It was Lotus’s take on the Porsche 911 recipe: a focused sports car with the flexibility and practicality to be used every day. The OG Evora featured a 3.5-litre Toyota-sourced V6, which was supercharged a year later to create the 350hp S model.
Early versions were perhaps a little too soft for some, with just 280hp and a suspension set-up more focused on comfort than clipping apexes, but the model shed weight, added power and gained handling focus as it matured over the years. By the time the GT410 Sport arrived in 2017, you had a 416hp sports coupe with a 190mph top speed.
So why not simply buy a 911? It’s a question you’ll be asked a lot if you drive an Evora, And, in the end, that’s probably actually its biggest strength rather than its biggest weakness. Okay, in terms of engineering integrity it wasn’t exactly up there with a Porsche, but it just felt so much lither and lighter on its feet. A true Lotus.