2021 Lotus Evora GT
Delivers a Tremendously Rewarding Driving Experience
Unless you’re really into low volume sports cars, the Lotus brand probably doesn’t come quickly to mind. For after all, that’s all they make, sports cars, and seeing one on the streets is a rare sight. But after years with little news, the brand is in for a bit of a renaissance, with two new models on the way, and an updated Evora, now known as the Evora GT.
The 2021 Lotus Evora GT is not the flashiest sports car out there, but it is one of the most interesting; using what it’s got to the fullest potential to deliver a tremendously rewarding driving experience.
That ethos is apparent right away in its powertrain; this mid-mounted 3.5-liter V6 may be found in hundreds of thousands of Toyota Camrys out there, but not like this. Lotus engineers give it thorough tweaking and then add an Edelbrock supercharger on top. The result is 416-horsepower; while the torque rating varies with transmission choice. Sticking with the standard 6-speed manual gets you 317 lb-ft.; the optional 6-speed automatic allows for a bit more, at 332 lb-ft.
Power is great right from the get go, but once the tach starts to tickle 5,000 rpm it becomes much more prevalent. A very heavy clutch gives great feedback, and allows for a fairly easy launch. Lotus claims a 3.8-second 0-60, but we had trouble with Track mode so our times were in the mid 4s.
There was a great Miata-like mechanical feel to the manual shifter however, allowing for precise shifts through the ¼-mile. When the power really starts pouring on, and you get some of that supercharger whine, it sounds fantastic and brought smiles to our faces. Our best run was a 13.3 at 109 miles-per-hour.
But, it’s on a road course that this Evora GT is really in its element.
For us, that meant a trip to Virginia’s Dominion Raceway.
Here, the Evora GT felt extremely light and agile. The car is so well-balanced and predictable, that it took no time at all to feel very comfortable throwing it into corners, or even trail-braking a bit into them to help it rotate when needed. There was a slight tendency to understeer, particularly in slower corners, but it’s very easy to correct thanks to precise and quick steering.
The AP Racing brakes worked well; plenty of bite and no fade. Just know that if you have big feet, there’s not a lot of room in the pedal box.
In straight-line braking, the Evora GT only needed 99-feet to stop from 60.
And if it sits still for long, it has a tendency to draw a crowd. The Evora has been around since 2010, but still a relative rarity on the street. Subtle tweaks over the years have increased the amount of downforce it creates, most recent updates include a front lip spoiler and reshaped wheel arches.
An optional Carbon pack converts the front access panel, roof, and rear diffuser to carbon fiber; helping fulfill Colin Chapman’s “lighter is righter” approach.
No frills to speak of inside, as the Evora lacks the upscale refinement of many of its rivals; but there’s a hand-crafted uniqueness to it that is quite special, and materials are first rate.
The steering wheel feels great in your hands, and our drivers loved the mix of genuine leather and Alcantara materials throughout.
Just a small amount of trunk space under the rear hatch. Most of the area occupied by the engine; which we love being able to see through the glass panel that separates it from the cabin.
With the manual transmission, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 17-City, 26-Highway, and 20-Combined. We averaged a good 21.3 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
For an Energy Impact Score that’s only slightly worse than average, at 16.5-barrels of yearly oil use, with 7.3-tons of CO2 emissions. Pricing starts at $99,150, regardless if you go with the 2-seater or 2+2 configuration.
There are quite a few performance cars to choose from in that price neighborhood, many with German pedigrees and much more refinement. None of them however, offer the British uniqueness and fun-factor that you’ll find here in the 2021 Lotus Evora GT.
- Engine: 3.5L V6
- Horsepower: 416
- Torque: 317 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 13.3 seconds @ 109 mph
- EPA: 17 City / 26 Highway / 20 Combined