Driven: 2011 Lotus Evora S

Matt Tierney

This road showcases how well the Evora S handles. The Tail is smooth and tight, and it makes you feel as if you are on a well-built, modern rollercoaster. I was reminded of my stint at the Porsche Sport Driving school, when the instructor told me to "trust the car." Because the Tail drive is one curve thrown into another curve, there is not much room to brake and accelerate into every corner. You have to pick and choose the corners you truly want to power through.

I'd done the Tail twice before, but both times were on motorcycles: a BMW K1200 and a 1000RR. It's a completely different experience in the Lotus but just as much fun. That said, my bike experience definitely informs the way I now approach the drive of a car: push the limits, but don't exceed your capabilities, and don't let anyone else lead you to doing more than you are capable of. On the Tail, I was not as worried about being responsible for something unfortunate happening as I was about someone else's screw-up affecting me and the Lotus. That sounds cliched, but it was all too true, especially because I was driving a car that all the other motorists were obsessed with. Drivers of all ages were trying to take a photo or video of the Lotus, and whether they were passing me or I was passing them, they were usually drifting 2 or 3 feet in their lane while they got their shot.

That fun over, I hit the interstate. I slid the seat back further to give my left leg a bit of room to rest. The cruise control worked flawlessly. I hit some torrential rain in Ohio on the way back, so I played it safe and dialed the car back several notches, as I was having flashbacks to my less than stellar 360* performance on a wet skid pad at the Porsche school.

Once I was home, I unloaded my gear and cleaned up the Lotus. I was feeling a bit sad that I was back to reality and had to return the car the next morning. If it was going to be the end of the world, this is the way I would have wanted to go: with a huge smile, at the wheel of this car, after a night at the River's Edge!

In the end, I love this car. It makes sweet sounds, whether idling at a stoplight or jolting from 3000 to 5000 RPM in a curve or straightaway. My average of 23 mpg was not bad for this type of car. I always felt in constant control. So either I've become a much better driver or Lotus makes adventure easier. Or both!

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