Two-pedal playtime - First drive: Lotus Evora IPS

  • First drive: Lotus Evora IPS - 0
  • First drive: Lotus Evora IPS - 1
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The Evora is Lotus' first two-pedal car since 1986, but has Hethel been able to catch the opposition?

In 2008, an amazing thing happened. Global sales of two-pedal cars overtook their three-pedal counterparts. As roads get more congested, fewer people want the bother of a clutch. And that's why so many supercars are fitted with paddle-shifters - and why Lotus has launched the Evora IPS - Intelligent Precision Shift.

It 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 ˆ replacing them with button selectors and paddle shifters behind the lightweight steering wheel.

But 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.

But 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, 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. And in truth, it casts aside the Evora's biggest let-down, it's 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...


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