Lotus Evora at the London motor show 2008 | CAR Magazine

Lotus Evora at the London motor show 2008

Published: 23 July 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

Lotus will call its new ‘Project Eagle’ 2+2 sports car the Evora, it announced today at the London motor show. And whatever you think of the name, the new Lotus Evora was one of the undisputed stars of the show – and one of the few genuine global debuts.

What’s new on Lotus’s London motor show stand?

Pulling in crowds of expectant photographers and cameramen like you get at Europe’s upper-echelon motor shows, the launch of the Evora gave this motor show a feeling of old-school glamour, not seen at a British expo for the past decade. Lotus chief Mike Kimberley gave a slightly over-long speech, but even that couldn’t keep the assembled hacks away from the Lotus stand for what ended up being the hottest unveiling of the day.

CAR’s Lotus highlight

Named after a town in Portugal, the Evora is the Nofolk firm’s first all-new car since the Elise in the mid 1990s and now that we’ve seen it in the metal and pored all over it, we can confirm it’s a decent-looking offering to boot.

The £45,000 2+2 enjoyed a plum location too – sitting right in the middle of the north hall. Considering the Lotus stand attracted one of the few media scrums of the day, the journalists appreciated that the simple Lotus stand (was it based on the company’s new VVA flexible architecture?) was airy, easy to move around and displayed the cars well.

What were they thinking?

‘True character in a faceless world’ is a decent enough tag line for a new offering, but the hordes of besuited actors wandering around Excel with blank masks over their facial features to illustrate it were downright scary. Check them out in CAR Online’s videos.

In a nutshell

Without overselling itself, Lotus did a brilliant job of making the most of its launch. Arguably the best launch of the day.

Click here for CAR Online’s full guide to the Lotus Evora  

CAR reader reports

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What surprised me most on the Lotus stand?

What’s in a name? Lotus will be hoping that Evora will become synonymous with desirability and success. The photos that were released prior to the show really don’t flatter the new car – from some angles, it really does look very, very good, if similar to the M250 concept from 1999. The slightly awkward-looking cutaway sill, by the way, is supposed to aid getting in and out.

Forget the PR spin: What’s the real story?

Lotus been absent from the luxury end of the sports car market for a long time, and they need to be sure their new car will sell. This is probably the reason for making the Evora a 2+2 – those rear seats might be tiny, but they may sway some potential buyers who would otherwise choose a more conventional coupe. It also gives the car a key USP over the Porsche Cayman.

Reader verdict?

If you visit the show, the Lotus stand is a must see. There was a real sense of anticipation and excitement at the press launch of the Evora, and you can bet Lotus will be nervously monitoring reaction to the new car throughout the show. Apparently, the order book will open this week…

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage