2012 Lotus Evora S Track Test

2012 Lotus Evora S Track Test

Track-Testing the 345-Horsepower Lotus Four-Seater

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

The Lotus Evora is intended to be a driver's daily driver. It has a backseat (kind of), a finished interior (kind of), standard bi-xenon lights, leather, steering wheel buttons, cruise control and iPod integration. And this 2012 Evora S has a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 that cranks out 345 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.

Power for the base $66,100 Evora comes from a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 that makes 276 hp — roughly 8 more than the Toyota Camry that provides its engine — and 252 pound-feet of torque. It's adequate power and capable, by Lotus' estimation, of getting to 60 in 4.9 seconds. But adequate doesn't sell sports cars, nor does edging out a Camry's power by about a lawn mower.

Add $10,000 to the cost of the base car and you step into the big-league 375-hp Evora S. Along with the Eaton TVS supercharger, the S gets the stiffer bushings, thicker rear antiroll bar and enhanced Dynamic Performance Management setting from the "sports pack" that's available on the normal Evora.

More power and a better suspension sound great on paper, but how well does it actually perform on our track? Is the Evora S good enough for us to forget that Lotus isn't selling the Exige or Elise in the U.S. anymore?

Odometer: 1,014
Date: 7/24/2012
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $89,145 ($77,600 base)

Drive Type: Midengine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Supercharged V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,456/211
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 345 @ 7,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 295 @ 4,500
Brake Type (front): 13.8-inch cross-drilled and ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.1-inch cross-drilled and ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double-wishbone, Bilstein dampers, coil springs, stabilizer bars
Suspension Type (rear): Independent double-wishbone, Bilstein dampers, coil springs, stabilizer bars

Tire Size (front): 235/35ZR19 (91Y)
Tire Size (rear): 275/30ZR20 (97Y)
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero Corsa
Tire Type: Summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,137

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 1.7 (1.9 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.1 ( 3.3 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.7 (4.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.4 (4.5 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 6.9 (7.8 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.0 @ 106.4 (13.4 @ 105.3 w/ TC on)

30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 105

Slalom (mph): 71.8 (71.4 w/TC OFF)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.98 ( 0.97 w/TC OFF)

Db @ Idle: 44.6
Db @ Full Throttle: 79.2
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 66.4
RPM @ 70: 2,400


Acceleration: Enjoys a fairly high-rpm quick-clutch launch. The car feels light and reactive off the line and 1st gear is done in a hurry. Too bad about both 2nd and 3rd gear synchros because the deliberately slow/forced shifts cost time (+0.2-0.3?) to 60 mph. Surprisingly linear power delivery. Needed 4th gear for quarter-mile.

Braking: Some dive and a firm pedal throughout. Excellent fade resistance in both feel and distance. Very little ABS commotion and always straight. First stop was 105 feet, 3rd was 105.


Skid pad: Magically informative steering — crystal clear info and intuitive build-up. I could really sense the balance shifting from tire to tire with my throttle position. Tremendously precise. I suspect the tires (as aggressive as they are) are the weak link in the chassis. Would be a racecar with slicks.

Slalom: There's not an ESC in the traditional sense (with individual brake application) but a traction-control-based system that only works when the throttle is being pressed and it cuts revs/fuel/spark. All this means that the driver can whack the throttle with impunity but all bets are off if he lifts off. Otherwise, this car is like a hot knife through butter on the slalom.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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