Lotus Evora S

What is it?

The Evora Lotus should have always built. The S adds a supercharger to the 3.5-litre V6 of the standard Evora, boosting power by 69- to 345bhp and allowing the Lotus to reach 62mph in just 4.8 seconds. Its more flexible, punchier performance comes with some revisions to the suspension too - changes that make the Evora S quite an incredible sports car.

Is it any good?

That depends on your viewpoint. If you want to impress your friends in the car park then buy a Porsche - Cayman or 911. If you're looking for one of the most rewarding and intense driving experiences you can have for under £60,000 then the Evora S is among the very best. It's not without its compromises though: the styling isn't instantly attractive, it's not easy to get in and out of and the +2 rear seats are little more than additional luggage space. Forget all that though, as the Evora S operates on a different plane when it's faced with a challenging stretch of tarmac.

The supercharged engine is extremely flexible, with the spread of power it delivers allowing you to leave it in second, third or fourth gear and still have ample punch out of the bends. That's useful, as the six-speed manual gearbox is the weak link in the driving experience. It doesn't like to be hurried and it's long in its throw. Drive around that though and the Evora S delivers a driving experience quite unlike anything else.

The steering is sublime, the intense, rich flow of information at the wheel's rim allowing you to place it with utter confidence. It's quick, beautifully weighted and so direct and faithful to input it makes every rival feel muted, leaden and dead in comparison. It's not just the steering that's in a different league, as the suspension exhibits control that's unlike anything else on the road. It balances supreme composure with remarkable control. Lumps and bumps in the surface are shrugged off, the Evora S maintaining and gaining speed where rival sports cars would have to back off through lack of wheel control.

Should I call the bank manager?

With prices starting at £57,550 - around £10,000 more than its non-supercharged Evora relative - you might have to. It's worth the additional outlay though, not just for the power but for the enhanced dynamics. S specification includes the Sport pack, which adds a Sport button for improved throttle response, increased rpm limit and a quicker acting bypass valve in the exhaust. Pressing that Sport button also increases the thresholds of the Evora's electronic stability systems, allowing more slip before intervening. There's a rear diffuser, cross-drilled brakes, an additional engine oil cooler and titanium sports exhaust tailpipe too as part of the S upgrade.

Summary

The Evora in standard guise has always sat a bit uncomfortably as a car with poise but without the power to truly exploit it. The S changes that, not only adding power, but a new level of dynamic ability that's truly in a different league to all its competitors. Hugely enjoyable to drive, gearbox aside, the Evora S is a brilliant sports car, that's more than a measure on the road for anything wearing a Porsche badge.

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