2009 Sneak Preview: 2010 Lotus Evora

With the Evora, Lotus expands from track-day toys like the Elise and the Exige into the realm of the high-performance GT. Although the Evora follows recent Lotus practice by using an aluminum-spaceframe structure and a mid-mounted engine, the car is much larger, more luxurious, and more livable than any of the current models. The standard setup is a two-seater with a cargo deck behind the front seats, but a two-plus-two configuration is also offered, as are luxuries like navigation, a backup camera, and a full leather interior. The engine is again sourced from Toyota - this time the Camry's 3.5-liter V-6. In the hands of Lotus engineers, it makes 276 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, but an automatic eventually will be added. Lotus claims this heretofore humble engine will propel its new GT to 160 mph and provide a five-second 0-to-60-mph sprint. The Evora will be the top-model Lotus when it arrives here early next year, priced from about $70,000.

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