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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 13th 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au ---11 make a mark USER FRIENDLY: The Lotus Evora has been designed with comfort in mind. 'The car is the first example of Lotus' low volume versatile vehicle architecture and is expected to support more models in coming years' an electric system. Stretton says the Evora will also allow existing Lotus owners to upgrade into a bigger, more refined car. ''It will also help broaden the audience,'' he says. Initial cars will come fully loaded with ''launch edition'' specifications which include the tech pack, the sports pack, bi-xenon headlights, a premium audio system, a reversing camera and electric mir- rors. The tech pack is nor- mally $8200 and the sports pack $3095. Despite its compact di- mensions --- it's 559mm longer than an Elise --- the mid-engine 3.5-litre V6 is a true 2+2, with rear seats large enough to accommo- date smaller folk in the back and soft luggage in a 160 litre boot. ''It also has a proper boot and is more accommodating than some of its competitors,'' Stretton says. Visually the Evora takes some design cues from the Elise but at the front has a more modern take on the Lotus grille and headlights. Lotus executive engineer, Matthew Becker, admits there are elements of the famous Lancia Stratos rally cars in the Evora's design. ''One of the key elements was not to make the car too big,'' he says. To ensure it has enough room for four, the Evora is 559mm longer, slightly wider and higher and sits on a 275mm longer wheelbase than the Elise. The chassis uses the same structure as the Elise, which is extruded aluminium but is longer, wider stiffer and safer. ''The Elise chassis was de- signed 15 years ago,'' Becker says. ''So we've taken the good bits of that chassis and developed it.'' The car is the first example of Lotus' low volume versatile vehicle architecture and is expected to support more models in coming years. It uses removable front and rear subframes so they can be replaced and repaired easily after an accident. Three other new Lotus models, including the 2011 Esprit, are expected to use a similar platform during the next five years. driving LOTUS has always held aspirations beyond just being a small niche sportscar carmaker. And while we love driving the Elise and Exige they will never crossover into the mainstream. They are pure sportscars for hardcore enthusiasts. The Evora is a very different proposition. It has been designed with comfort in mind without sacrificing the Lotus pedigree for performance and handling. Every aspect that marks the Elise and Exige down for occupants has been addressed in the Evora. The sills are lower and slimmer and the doors are taller and open wider, making entry and exits less of a contortionist's nightmare. It looks like a serious sportscar but Lotus recognises that to compete against the likes of a Porsche Boxster, it has to be more user friendly. They have succeeded. Slipping into the Evora is like putting on a well tailored Armani suit. It fits very well yet in a snug, reassuring way. Once seated in the hip-hugging sports seats, there is still plenty of leg and headroom without any sense of claustrophobia. That's the first hurdle overcome. The second hurdle is the hugely variable quality of Lotus vehicles and their ''kit- car'' reputation. The Evora goes a long way to dispel such preconceptions. Design-wise it feels different to a thoroughly efficient and Germanic Boxster. Probably our only gripe about the interior is that some of the minor switchgear still feels as if it has come from a Toyota parts-bin. But the quality is the best we've seen from the British carmaker for ages, from the headlining to the well-crafted leather seats. All is forgiven though when you turn the key and hit the road. The steering is sharp, there is a good balance between ride and handling and the mid-engine V6 has a sweet note. Like some of its rivals, the Evora gets a ''sports'' setting, which heightens driver involvement by limiting some of the in- built safety nannies. Lotus has wisely stuck with a hydraulic steering rack, rather than an electric system, for better feel and feedback. Like the Elise, the Evora benefits from lightweight high-tech manufacturing technology, which is the key to the car's sparkling performance. At 1380kg the low-slung sportscar is on a par with the average Japanese hatch, yet the worked over Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre six provides plenty of grunt. The six is efficient and smooth, delivering seamless power and plenty of low-down urge that builds quickly once the revs go beyond 4000. On full song, the engine has a wonderful note yet at highway speeds it is composed and quiet. For some enthusiasts, the V6 might not have a big enough soundtrack to identify it as a car that hits 100km/h in 5.1 seconds but the crispness and urgency of the V6 is still impressive. Equally impressive are the massive brakes ----- 350mm front and 330mm rear --- as is the grip from the Pirelli P-Zero tyres. TheV6ismatedtoa Lotus-tweaked Toyota- sourced six-speed manual gearbox. At first the gearshift feels a little notchy between first and second but familiarity helps smooth the changes. Once mastered, you can confidently push the Evora well beyond normal handling thresholds. We didn't get anywhere near the car's very high dynamic limits. Yet even without sports mode activated, it remains utterly entertaining. There is no doubt the Evora feels like a more grown up Elise. It might even have enough cache to lure some performance buyers across from the more established German brands. All in all, it is an every day Lotus you can finally live with. 2007 Toyota Hilux Workmate 2.7 Litre, Manual, Air Cond, Dual A/Bags, Tow Bar, Canopy, Alloy B/Bar, Only 8,700 Kms! $19,990 2007 Toyota Hilux SR Dual Cab 4x4 Ute 3.0 Litre Turbo Diesel, Tow Bar, Side Steps, Bull Bar, ABS & Dual A/Bags, Hard to Find! 2008 Toyota Yaris YR 5 Door Hatch 1.3 Litre Manual, Dual A/Bags, ABS, Air Cond. $40,990 $12,990 ONLY ONLY ONLY 2005 Toyota Echo 3 Door Automatic, Air Cond, Pwr steering, A/Bag, One Previous Owner & Travelled Only 23,000 Kms! $11,990 2008 Toyota Yaris Yr 3 Door Automatic, Air Cond, Dual A/Bags, ABS, Only 24000 Kms, Sensational Value! 2008 Toyota Corolla Levin SX Automatic, Air Cond, Cruise Control, CD Stacker with Bluetooth, Alloy Wheels, Executive Driven Toyota. $14,990 $23,990 ONLY ONLY ONLY 2008 Toyota Aurion AT-X 3.5 Litre V6, 6 Speed Automatic, Stability Control, ABS, 6 A/Bags, Cruise Control, Travelled Only 7,500 Kms! 2005 Mazda E2000 2.0 Litre, 5 Speed Manual, Air Cond, Pwr Steering, Ctrl Lock, Cargo Barrier, Excellent Condition Throughout! $26,990 $14,990 ONLY ONLY 2009 Toyota Hilux Extra Cab 4x4 3.0 Litre Turbo Diesel, Alloy Tray, Side Steps, Dual A/Bags, Travelled Only 21,000 Kms, Be Early $43,990 2007 Toyota Rav 4 CV 2.4 Litre, 5 Speed Manual, Dual A/Bags, Air Cond, Nudge Bar & Tow Bar. 2008 Toyota Corolla Conquest Sedan Automatic, 7 A/Bags, Cruise Control, Alloys, Fog Lamps, CD stacker with Bluetooth, Sensational Value! $24,990 $20,990 ONLY ONLY ONLY 2006 Holden Astra CD 1.8 Litre, 5 Speed Manual, Air Cond, Dual A/Bags, Alloy Wheels. $15,990 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer GLXI Wagon Automatic, Air Cond, Pwr Steering, Pwr Windows, Travelled Only 36,000 Kms! 2005 Holden Rodeo Flat Tray 2.4 Litre, 5 Speed Manual, Alloy Tray with Canopy, Great Value! $12,990 ONLY $9,990 ONLY ONLY 267 ARGYLE STREET, HOBART | www.co-optoyota.com.au Used Vehicle Sales 6230 1966 *Prices apply until close of business Saturday 13/2/10. 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February 6th 2010
February 20th 2010