First Drive : Lotus Evora IPS

Keith Adams

Lotus Evora IPS
Lotus Evora IPS

An amazing thing happened back in 2008  – global sales of two-pedal cars overtook their three-pedal counterparts. Roads have become more congested and so fewer people want the bother of a clutch. That’s why so many supercars are fitted with paddle-shifters – and why Lotus has launched the Evora IPS – Intelligent Precision Shift.

IPS adds £1800 to the Evora’s price (the super-fast S remains manual only) and completely removes any trace of a shift lever from the Evora’s cabin, replacing them with button selectors and paddle shifters behind the lightweight steering wheel.

How does it drive? It’s a car that is dominated by the excellence its ride and handling – which, in a nutshell, is typically Lotus-brilliant. Ride is pliant, damping is fluid and the steering is full of feel, beautifully geared and weighted, and confidence inspiring. The V6 is nicely judged, too, with a wide power band and absolutely no shyness about heading for the red-line.

The autobox does add some tricks to its repertoire. The system effectively gives semi-auto control of a fully-auto gearbox and it mainly works very well indeed. In standard drive mode, it’s responsive, but errs on the side of economy.

However, in sport, it gets all racy, holding onto gears, and blipping on downchanges as you dive into corners. Manual override is a matter of tapping the paddles and, if you don’t change gear for 10 seconds, it reverts to automatic.

Faults? Other than sometimes casting down the ratios a little too much under braking for corners, there’s little to criticise it for. Actually, in truth, it casts aside the Evora’s biggest let-down, its manual transmission – other than that, it’s pure Evora, and we’re sure more than half of you will agree, that’s a very good thing…

[Source: Octane Magazine]

Keith Adams


  1. I don’t like the way Lotus is going. The new Esprit is just horrid looking and I’m not a big fan of the Evora, either.

    The Elise represented a return to Lotus’ roots when it debuted and they’ve so quickly forgotten why people were enamoured with that model.

    Are we again doomed to 25 years of progressively heavier Esprits and tarted-up special editions from other manufacturers?

  2. Lotus is moving upmarket. I just hope they can boast build quality and engineering integrity in the same ballpark as Porsche – especially given that an entry-level 911 is within £10k of one of these.

    The problem when you price your products at > £50k is that your buyers have > £50k worth of expectations. You can live with it when the window winder handle falls off your £20k Elise or the headlamp brackets rot and the headlights fall into the clamshell because nothing else gets even close to an Elise as a driver’s car for the money.

    However, head north of £50,000 though, and you have a lot of very good, very polished and very capable options.

  3. If you have ever seen the elise chassis (tub)i dont think you would doubt the engineering integrity from that standpoint,it may be glued and riveted but it is as good as a ferrari for chassis construction and id asume the newer models would be no different i know the insides are ropey and i suppose thats were it counts of course with the all seeing eye.I think the evora looks nice but then get put off right away by seeing the ford indicator stalks-why?even TVR made bespoke switchgear on thier later models,its not a kit car is it?if you are blowing 50k plus i dont want to see something from a fiesta which lets face it is the biggest purchase responsibilty after an house.That said i hope lotus do really well,they cant live off the elise or the like forever and need the bigger models-i cant get into an elise without spraining something!

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