There’s a good reason why you don’t see a lot of Lotuses on the road. The English automaker actually only sells one car in North America. However, the Lotus Evora GT is one hell of a sports car. It’s the perfect example of founder Colin Chapman’s approach to engineering: simplify, and then add lightness. The 2020 Lotus Evora GT offers very few frills. However, what it lacks in technology, practicality, or luxury, it more than makes up for in performance.
Exterior Styling: A Perfect Marriage of Form and Function
The 2020 Evora GT is not a luxury sports car. And it doesn’t pretend to be one. It’s low to the ground and compact, just like a car designed to carve up twisty roads should be. The design is fairly tame up front. However, things get seriously sporty around the back. The mid-mounted engine is left uncovered unless you opt for the carbon fiber pack, which adds black louvers to the engine bay glass. There’s also a single exhaust port mounted in the center of the Evora GT’s diffuser and meaty air ducts. Lotus hasn’t designed the flashiest car here, but its compact and sporty styling is still sure to turn heads.
What’s New for 2020: A New Name, More Power and Less Weight
Lotus technically sold two cars in North America in 2019 — the Evora 400 and Evora Sport 410. For 2020, the automaker slashed its lineup in half and rebranded its lone model. In addition to the new name, the Evora GT also offers more power than its predecessors. The Evora GT’s mid-mounted supercharged 3.5-liter V6 sends 416 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. If you opt for the optional automatic gearbox, the numbers don’t change much with 416 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. The Evora GT has also lost weight. According to Lotus it weighs 71 pounds less than the Evora 400 did.
What’s Under the Hood: A Supercharged Engine From… Toyota?
Yes, the Evora GT’s mid-mounted supercharged V6 is the same engine found in the top-spec Toyota Camry (albeit with a supercharger slapped on). The Evora GT doesn’t perform like any old Toyota, though. Well, except for maybe the Supra. Although it might not look like much, the Evora is a demon off the line thanks to its ultralight curb weight of just 3,175 pounds. Using the automatic transmission only ups the weight to 3,199 pounds.
Lotus actually offers a carbon fiber package that cuts an additional 49 pounds off the Evora’s already lithe frame. A titanium exhaust can also remove an additional 22 pounds of mass. Thanks in part to its weight, the Lotus makes the sprint from 0-to-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. It has a top speed of 188 mph.
The Evora GT features four driving modes: Drive, Sport, Race, and Off. Sport and Race modes offer increased throttle response and give drivers a bit more wiggle room before the traction control cuts in. Reviewers praise the Evora GT for its hydraulically assisted power steering (no electronic assist here), which Automobile said delivers “magical feedback.”
Automobile also commended the Evora GT’s handling — calling out the standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires specifically. They noted that it offers a surprisingly comfortable ride. In their review, CarandDriver observed that the Evora GT “knifed” around corners and called its engine “smooth and torquey.” The only demerit both outlets had was for the clutch pedal, which they said was heavier than it should be.
Despite offering 416 horsepower, the Evora GT does pretty well at the pump. The EPA estimates the 2020 Evora will get 17/26/20 mpg (city, highway, combined) when equipped with the manual transmission. Those numbers barely drop to 17/24/20 mpg when optioned with the automatic. Of course, real world figures will likely be much lower, since the Evora GT isn’t designed to cruise down the highway doing 55 mph. You’re going to floor it frequently.
What’s Inside: Sporty Luxury
Despite not looking like a traditional grand tourer, the Evora GT reportedly provides a pretty comfortable ride. Top Gear says that the Lotus is comfortable and practical enough for two people on a road trip. The Evora GT does technically come in a four-seat configuration, but those rear seats are only suitable for the smallest of children. They are actually best used for extra storage. Speaking of storage, there’s no front trunk. However, there is a rear trunk behind the engine that offers a few cubic feet of cargo space.
The Evora GT comes swathed in Alcantara and the perforated leather seats feature hand stitching. If you crave a bit more luxury, you can opt for the bespoke leather package for $4,500 extra and the $450 leather-wrapped steering wheel. That’s it on the luxury front, though. It may come as a shock to those used to the near-endless luxury amenities offered by Europe’s luxury automakers. Of course, the Evora GT is designed to be driven, not luxuriated in.
Technology and Safety Tech
The Lotus Evora GT comes standard with a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and navigation. That’s all she wrote on the tech front, though (unless you consider an optional subwoofer and amplifier to be tech).
As you might have suspected, safety technology and driver’s assistance aids aren’t high on Lotus’ priority list. The Evora GT features a backup camera, rear parking sensors, and that’s it. It’s not uncommon for supercars and high-end sports cars to skimp on safety and driver’s assistance tech. Still, it’d be nice if the Evora GT offered a bit more in this category.
Pricing and Trim Levels: The Lotus Experience Doesn’t Come Cheap
The Lotus Evora GT comes in one trim level and has an MSRP of $96,950. With options, the price tag can easily exceed $100,000, especially if you go for performance extras like the titanium exhaust ($8,000) and carbon fiber pack ($10,000).
The Evora GT costs tens of thousands of dollars more than the Chevrolet Corvette, Toyota Supra, and Porsche 718 Cayman. That being said, the Lotus offers a vastly different driving experience from those three cars. The two luxury coupes that are nearest to it in terms of price and performance are the BMW 8 Series ($87,900) and Porsche 911 ($99,200). All that begs the question: How much is a purist driving experience really worth?
The Last Word
The Lotus Evora GT is as polarizing a car as you’ll find on sale today. Many will likely balk at being asked to pay roughly $100,000 for a car that is only really designed to do one thing exceptionally well: be driven. However, some will see the appeal of a sports car that was created solely with the driver in mind. What the 2020 Evora GT lacks in practicality, technology, and luxury it more than makes up for in character and capability. The Evora GT isn’t for everyone, but those who find themselves craving a stripped-down driving experience would do well to schedule a test drive.