The Lotus Evora has received numerous accolades since its launch. Using a combination of value for money, good looks and impressive performance, it has become the sports car that every motoring enthusiast can aspire to.
The Evora exists in two different forms, a normally aspirated 276 bhp version and the Evora S, a supercharged 345 bhp offering. New for 2013 is the Sports Racer, a set of upgrades which can be applied to both the normal Evora and the supercharged version that nets you a £6,000 saving on options.
The idea is, you get the best Evora you can for your money, as well as a few special tweaks in the looks department that we think make the Sports Racer the sexiest car in Lotus's current line up.
On the outside, Lotus has added a gloss-black roof, diffuser, splitter and sills. From the side, the contrasting black against the paintwork of the doors causes a trick of the eye, where the lines of the bodywork appear to be pinching to a bottleneck just before dropping back out for the rear wheels. Set that against a set of black, forged-alloy wheels and you have an absolutely stunning looking car for the money.
What the Sports Racer manages to do is give the Evora a proper wow factor. When we first stumbled upon it, sitting next to multiple standard Evoras, it had a limited-edition feel which we imagine will turn heads. If showing off is your thing, then the Sports Racer strikes us as a no-brainer.
Just a note on the showing off factor: the Evora S Sports Racer that we were test driving had an absolutely brilliant-sounding exhaust. It wasn't at quite the manic levels of something like a Ferrari 458, but switch the engine on and the grunt of over-rev you get lets you know it means business.
The Sports Racer will be going on sale in four colours: Aspen White, Carbon Grey, Nightfall Blue and Ardent Red. We only managed to lay eyes on the red version. The car will retail for £57,900 for a Evora Sports Racer and £65,900 for the Evora S Sports Racer.
Inside, Lotus has upped the quality of the Evora's interior even further. Some have qualms about the quality of the finishing, but you can't argue it doesn't look special. The Sports Racer includes 2+2 seating, so you can squeeze four into the car if you so desire, but good luck doing it.
You also get the two big boxes that need ticking on an Evora, namely the Sports Pack and Tech Pack. We particularly like the subtly etched Union Jack on the car's kick plates. It has to be the only tasteful use of the Union Jack we have ever seen and adds even more to that special feel the Sports Racer has.
The Sports Pack adds things like a sharper throttle response and more aggressive options for traction control as well as cross-drilled brake discs. We will talk about just how big a difference that makes in our full review of the Sports Racer soon.
As for the Tech Pack, this just makes the Evora a more liveable sports car than it already is. These are the upgrades that will make for an easily daily drivable Evora. As such it includes things like parking sensors, Bluetooth and a better Pioneer stereo with a touchscreen display.
As for ride and handling, if you have ever read anything about an Evora you will know just how good it is. Somehow Lotus has managed to produce a car that is as soft and delicate to sit in as a standard saloon, yet sticks to the road like glue with absolutely no loss in driving feel whatsoever. The Sports Racer drove as tight and connected as you would want from a sports car. Incidentally, those cross-drilled brakes - hit them hard enough and it feels like you've smashed through a brick wall.
There is so much more we can say about the Sports Racer's brilliance so check back at Pocket-lint soon when we will have a full review.