Despite the recently announced Motor Show troubles in Adelaide and Brisbane, the Melbourne International Motor Show is all set for 2009. Lotus Cars Australia has chosen the 75th annual Melbourne Motor to give its new Evora flagship a southern hemisphere debut.
Expected to go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of 2009, Evora has generated extensive interest - and orders - since its first showing at the British International Motor Show in July. The list of celebrities who have their names in the Evora order book is, to be honest, astounding. Sporting legends, supermodels, Hollywood movie stars, TV personalities, musicians and even the Mayor of London all want a piece of Evora.
Here?s a quick rundown: Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Jay Leno, musician Jay Kay and supermodel Jodie Kidd. Then there is Beyonc?, Dave Gr?hl, Kelly Rowland, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Patrick Dempsey and JLo.
Of course, there is the James Bond connection with current Bond, Daniel Craig, joining 'past Bond' Pierce Brosnan, in the order book. Most telling of all is the fact that two of the world?s biggest-ever celebrities (in our opinion at least), James May and Richard Hammond from Top Gear UK, have also signed up for an Evora. (One can only assume that the Evora?s 3.5 litre V6 just didn?t have the POWERRRR that Clarkson demands of his personal transport.)
Speaking of stars, the mid-engined 2+2 Evora is the first star car confirmed for the 2009 Melbourne Motor Show, where it will complement the existing four-model Lotus range of Elise, Exige, Europa and 2-Eleven.
Evora is powered by a Lotus-tuned all-alloy 3.5 litre (Toyota derived) V6, with variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust cams. Its 2+2 seating configuration includes child seat capability in the back, and the practicality carries through to a 160 litre boot to accommodate a full set of golf clubs.
Option packs allow purchasers to choose the added features that they want, such as cruise control and parking sensors, top-end stereo and multi-media systems, satellite navigation, reversing camera and active noise cancellation, switchable suspension and upgraded brakes.
The practicality of the Evora no-doubt goes a long way to explaining its pre-release popularity, a modern Lotus has never been this accessible. As Lotus freely admits, Evora has been designed to be as much a luxury coupe as a high-performance sports car.
The 75th Annual Melbourne Motor Show kicks off on the 27th February 2009. We?ll see you there.