With the car having been on sale for so long now, and with as many derivatives launched as there has been, it can be difficult to recall what an impact the Evora had 13 years ago. And yes, it really was that far in the past, Lotus pulling the wraps off its latest sports car at the 2008 British Motor Show.
Come the 2009 launch, our excitement hadn't dimmed one bit. Here was a Lotus with more than four cylinders for the first time since the Esprit, boasting a handsome new look and 2+2 practicality for those that desired it. Then, of course, people got to drive the Evora, and that excitement evolved into something little short of delirium. The inevitable comparison drives with Porsche's 987 Cayman returned unequivocal verdicts: "The Cayman is still a great car but the Evora, well, the Evora is irresistible," was just one conclusion that neatly summed up a lot of those tests. The Evora was a more mature, more usable Lotus, albeit one with the same beautiful steering and superb handling as cars like the Elise - it was exactly what we'd all thought a bigger Lotus would be like. Even down to a less than perfect interior.
The Evora evolved rapidly, with supercharged models and an automatic soon following after the standard 3.5. It's still going to this day, as we all well know, with a final edition due soon to bid farewell to the Evora after 12 years in production.
Selecting one Evora to feature after so long on sale is challenging, but not impossible: here's one of the Launch Editions from way back in 2009, the oldest Evora on PH by three years. Back when Barack Obama had only just become President, every option box that could be ticked was for the £58,000 Launch Edition: it had the 2+2 seating, the Premium Pack, the Tech Pack and the Sport Pack. That means equipment like Recaro leather seats, drilled bake discs, a Sport mode, cruise control, parking sensors and an infotainment system with nav, Bluetooth and so on.
Moreover, this Evora appears immaculate, having covered little more than 2,000 miles a year since first registration. Early Evoras weren't renowned for their build quality, but this one seems to have stood the test of time well. And it still looks fantastic.
Better still, as one of the oldest examples out there, this Evora is one of the cheapest as well. At £32,000 it's not the cheapest we've seen the model get to - don't forget the £20k Brave Pill - but it is the most affordable way into an Evora right now. The same money buys an IPS with a few more miles, though that automatic is far from the best out there. You're looking at nearer £40k now for a nice, low mileage supercharged manual.
Although nobody would deny the appeal of the extra horsepower, the Evora's genius and appeal was never in straight-line performance. It was the ability to dissect a great road with seemingly endless class and composure, a Lotus trademark that's becoming more desirable with each passing year. There are faster Evoras than this one, certainly, and many newer ones, but so much of what made the car great is here in abundance. Let's hope whatever replaces the Evora can offer more of the same.
SPECIFICATION | LOTUS EVORA
Engine: 3,456cc, V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 280@6,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@4,700rpm
Recorded mileage: 26,000
First registered: 2009
Price new: £58,460
Yours for: £24,995
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