I Drove The Lotus Evora GT After Everyone Else And It’s Exactly What We Need
Photographer: Raz ‘Wilson’ Krog
I have been looking forward to driving the Lotus Evora GT for quite some time. After the bloggers, the podcasters, the columnists, and the influencers had a go, I finally got my chance. And guess what? Everything worked. This Lotus had been through the wringer and had emerged ready and willing for an afternoon of canyon carving. All the stories of “built in a shed” and comments about reliability are firmly buried in the past. This particular model was provided to me by Lotus’ media company, had every option possible, and looked brilliant in Vivid Green.
Lotus is a special brand for me, my parents are British, and I grew up with stories from my father, who was in the RAF (Royal Air Force). In between tales of Spitfires and the Luftwaffe, he would talk about the heyday of British motoring. The brand he would often mention was Lotus, since the airfield that Lotus uses to build and engineer their machines is an old RAF base. I was also brought up on a steady diet of James Bond, which of course, featured one of the most famous on-screen vehicles of all time – the submarine Esprit. I desperately wanted this latest Lotus with its 416 horsepower, 6-speed manual, and supercharged V6 to live up to the everything I wanted it to be. I wasn’t disappointed.
Flash forward to the present time. It has been a year since a fire ravaged a large amount of Malibu, and as a resident who was evacuated, I was looking forward to bringing a little ‘green’ back to the landscape. It worked out perfect with the weather and also a pristine, black snake of asphalt that had been freshly applied. The dark ribbon didn’t even have the center lines laid down so this was a road begging to be explored by Hethels finest. As I waited for the photographer to arrive, I took a closer look at all the details. The wheel was wrapped with Alcantara, green stitching ran throughout the cabin, and the 20″ rear Lotus designed Ultra-Lightweight Forged Wheels in matte black highlighted the bright green skin. This Lotus and the road might both be referred to as ‘bespoke.’
Now on to the drive. Everything about this green monster is focused on speed and agility. It does everything we want from a sports car, including just the right amount of sound. I live near PCH so I hear just about every level of machinery, two wheels and four, come hurtling past every hour of the day. I’m not complaining, but there is an art to an exhaust pipe, and the Evora GT hits just the right note. The extra fee for the titanium exhaust was warranted, and the more time I spent winding through the hills of Malibu the more I appreciated it. The steering was crisp and precise, another Lotus hallmark, and the brakes grabbed hard whenever I needed them.
I’ve driven several versions of the Evora before the GT, and I can tell you this much improved over its previous renditions. There was a lot to like when sitting behind the wheel of this edition. It had everything you need and nothing extra. Seats, three pedals, a stick, and an engine right behind my head. In fact, it’s all you can see in the rearview mirror. It does have the necessary creature comforts like AC and a radio, which used to be all one needed. Now the modern car is laden down with all levels of nanny-state features, not so with the Lotus Evora GT.
My particular model was also outfitted with the Carbon Pack, so that means every possible curve was wrapped in Carbon Fiber. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it did go well with the Yellow Calipers and Black Forged wheels. Before you think Lotus has gone all hi-tech and lost its analog spirit, it does come with a key that looks like it should unlock something forbidden.
It would be impossible to write this review without mentioning the manual transmission; there is no other way to experience this car. You feel every shift, and the sound of each click just strengthens the connection between the driver and the machine. It feels old fashioned in the best sense but performs like a modern engineering marvel in every other way.
Driving a bright green, or any other loud color, sportscar can get a divided response. You might get an odd look at the gas station, or a groan as you get a cup a coffee. That didn’t happen with the Evora, everyone was enthusiastic and curious about the vehicle. There is an easy way to tell if you have been accepted by the non-gearhead crowd in Malibu, they pull over when you come up behind them on a single lane road. It’s a universal move that says, “you look like you’re having fun, be safe, and have a good time.” They are plenty of German and Italian sports cars, usually ones with wings and stripes, where that will not be the case. This might be just an urban myth, but I like to think it’s true.
It’s this combination of thumbs up from everyone and also a superb driving experience that makes the Lotus Evora GT cockpit a great place to spend a day. The first question most people ask is would you choose it over a Cayman GT4? I think it’s a victory for Lotus that most people would have a hard time answering that question. I know which one I would choose. Did the car live up to my boyhood dreams? The answer is a resounding yes.