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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A couple of years back I sold my 2006 Speed Yellow Cayman S. I've started looking for a replacement and in reading articles and watching videos of comparisons between the Lotus Evora and Cayman, I thought I'd have a closer look at the Evora before I settled on a late model used Cayman. The car magazines are pretty much all fawning over the Evora so I was ready to be impressed with the 2013 Evora 2+2 that I found up in Winston-Salem. After a fairly long test drive and thoroughly going over the Evora, I have to say I came away disappointed. The Evora was in excellent condition with just under 2700 miles on the odometer. The color was listed as Sienna Brown but looked like a dark grey to me. The interior was a beautiful camel colored leather.

I was able to drive the car on a twisty country road and on the expressway for several miles. It was a good long test drive. The seats were very comfortable and very supportive; maybe better than my 06 Cayman. But the seating position was quite low making entry and exit a bit cumbersome. The wide exterior frame rail didn't help much. One of the first things I noticed is that the foot well was pretty cramped and I only wear a size 8.5 shoe. There is no dead pedal and insufficient room to get your left foot off the clutch unless you put it partially under the clutch pedal. It was difficult to find a place for my left foot when it wasn't busy working the clutch.

The shifter was an engineering marvel. Shifts were precise, solid, and crisp. I think the shift throw is a bit longer than I remember in my CS but it had the short throw shifter installed by the dealer. Maybe not a fair complaint on the Evora. All things considered, the Evora shifter is still an excellent design and execution. The clutch is a bit heavy but has short travel and engages/disengages crisply.

Steering was excellent. Maybe better than my old CS. But... at speeds over 75 mph this Evora had a distinct shimmy. If felt like a front wheel balance issue. The car goes where you point it and a bit of extra throttle will induce over steer when you want to push the tail around. The Evora definitely holds the road well and mid-corner road bumps don't seem to unsettle the car at all.

The cabin is not the quietest. I noted a fair amount of road noise coming into the cabin. Enough that it may get to be tiresome over a long road trip. Also, you can definitely hear what is going on out back as you accelerate. This is not all bad as it reminds you aurally of what you are driving. Above about 4000 rpm, the intake really becomes noticeable. The exhaust note is a bit hard to describe but I'd prefer something a bit more sporting than the standard exhaust on the Evora.

While the drive was pretty darn good, the car really did not show well in the interior design, and fit and finish areas. Overall, I would characterize the interior design and execution as "clunky" or rather 90's looking. The entire interior of the car except for the headliner was a beautiful very high quality camel colored leather. It was truly a beautiful material. But the design of the door panels, dash, and center console was just plain "clunky". The best comparison I can come up with is that this Evora's interior looked like a fairly well executed kit car interior. A few other things I noticed that seemed odd for a $65k sports car. The seat belt attachment at the floor was an 8 inch long rod running along the left edge of the drivers seat. The seat belt was simply looped over the rod and slipped back and forth as you adjusted the seat. This looked again like something you would see in a kit car installation. Another example is the seat reclining knob. It was a plastic three sided affair that looked like it would be more at home in a 1975 AMC Gremlin. I know that's harsh but that was what it reminded me of. The designers used a lot of flush mounted buttons with sometimes cryptic symbols on them. The AC controls I could figure out. Some of the other buttons would require a search through the owners manual.

The exterior of the car viewed from 30 feet is awesome. The shape of the car is exotic and reminded me of recent designs by Ferrari. But, up close there were some things that just looked cheap. The vents were covered in black (looked like powder coated) steel mesh. I also noted the window seals were pretty thick. I expected more refinement on a car of this caliber.

I can get a low mileage 2014 Cayman for about the same money as this Evora ($47k). But, for that money, I think the Cayman is a much better designed and executed car. I'm kind of surprised that the auto magazines were so forgiving of the Evora in their reviews.
 

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Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking about a Lotus also because of the outward appearance but it's hard to argue with the interior fit and finish of Porsche.
 

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IMO this is as simple as Raw or Refined. The lotus similar to my Honda S2K is pretty raw. Noise, vibration & harshness are right up there. I love it and use it as a DD. I have taken it on a trip or two but it is pretty tiring. On the other hand my 981 CS is much more refined. Nicer interior, faster and gorgeous looking. It is very practical but has a wild side when you want to carve corners. The only issue I have is I don't want to park it anywhere near other cars for fear of scratches and dents. To me it is so beautiful that I obsess over keeping it clean and perfect. As such it is not my DD. The other issue you have to weigh is the fact that Lotus is not know for it's reliability. Good luck with your decision!
 

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... at speeds over 75 mph this Evora had a distinct shimmy. If felt like a front wheel balance issue. The car goes where you point it and a bit of extra throttle will induce over steer when you want to push the tail around. The Evora definitely holds the road well and mid-corner road bumps don't seem to unsettle the car at all.
Thanks for the review. And remind me not to let you test drive my car.
 

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I loved my Evora and had none of the issues noted above. Had a lot of room for Grand Touring and took it on many long trips. I found it to be very comfortable. Sold it because I was bored and just wanted something different. Great car!
 
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