Lotus Evora GTE and Elise S (2012) at Frankfurt motor show

Published: 13 September 2011 Updated: 26 January 2015

Having staid the executioner’s blade from above the Evora and delayed its Elan replacement until at least 2016, Lotus is now pushing ahead with a new range of Evoras. Unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show was the most powerful Evora (and road-going Lotus) ever, the GTE, and a revised Evora and Evora S.

So how much power does the Lotus Evora GTE have?

At least 438bhp from its tuned 3.5-litre V6. Lotus originally intended to build just 25 Evora GTEs for the Asian market, but as they sold out quickly, the harder, faster Evora will now be built and sold around the world. ‘The response to this model in China has been so incredible, within days we had sold out with 114 orders,’ said Lotus CEO Dany Bahar. ‘In response we decided that the only logical step from a business perspective was to increase production and widen our reach’.

Besides the extra power there’s a automated manual AMT gearbox, lightweight forged centre-lock alloy wheels, and Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres. And with carbonfibre used for the Recaro bucket seats, the more aggressive front and rear bumpers, the big rear wing and the doors, the kerbweight is 105kg less than a standard Evora.

What about the other Evoras?

A raft of model year updates for 2012. Lotus is well aware that the Evora’s fit and finish wasn’t up to scratch, so that’s what it has been improving. They’re ushered in at the same time as the supercharged 345bhp Evora S gains the ISP automatic transmission as an option – it was previously only available on the standard Evora. Other tweaks see the Sport Pack now coming as standard on the S, along with cross-drilled brakes and a new active exhaust.

Anything else from Lotus?

Yes, a new Elise S and Elise SPS. Emissions regulations killed off all but the 1.6-litre Elise at the end of 2012, but now there’s a new 217bhp Elise S that uses a supercharged 1.8-litre engine. It’s cleaner and more fuel efficient than the old Elise SC. 

And if you’re a bit odd and hate changing gear yourself in a back-to-basics sports car, you can now spec the base Elise with Serial Precision Shift (SPS), a fancy name for an automated manual transmission.

>> Click ‘Add your comment’ below and let us know what you think of the new Lotus Evora GTE and Lotus Elise S

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large