LOTUS EVORA S
Following the appearance of a leaked memo that gave the game away a month earlier than its planned debut, Lotus has today revealed the 2011 Lotus Evora S, a more highly-tuned version of the Evora. Joining the S spec will be the Evora IPS, fitted with an automatic transmission.
The unveiling of the Evora S follows spy photos obtained only last week, revealing the new range-topper testing in Europe, a large rear diffuser setting it apart from the regular Evora.
Driven by the same 3.5 litre engine as its stablemate, the Evora S gets its output boosted to 257.5kW and 400Nm of torque - an increase of around 52kW and 50Nm respectively.
The Evora S improves on the Evora's performance figures, with the 0-100km/h sprint now covered in 4.8 seconds, besting the Evora by at least 0.2 seconds.
Exactly where that extra power comes from is unclear, as Lotus is keeping some details under wraps until its proper Paris unveiling. (With that big a boost in power, a supercharger is the likely source.)
Cementing its range-topping status, the Evora S gets stiffer suspension, cross-drilled brakes, a 'sport' button for improved throttle response, a higher rev limit and the activation of an exhaust bypass for better breathing and a gutsier sound.
Aerodynamics are also improved, with the Evora S featuring the very serious rear diffuser spied recently in testing.
The Evora S will be joined at Paris by the Evora IPS, or "intelligent precision shift", fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission with Lotus-developed transmission control.
The IPS benefits from manual paddle shift and automatic drive modes, with a similar 'sport' mode that puts shifting entirely in the driver's hands.
Power for the IPS comes from the same 206kW/350Nm 3.5 litre V6 powering the regular Evora, producing a 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 5.3 seconds.
The unveiling of the Evora S and Evora IPS follows a teaser announcement from Lotus that it will bring "something breathtaking" to Paris, revealing only: "Perhaps it will be a new Esprit, perhaps not. Or perhaps even more?"
Lotus has offered little else on what we can expect to see at Paris other than describing the unknown concept as "the future evolution of an iconic British brand".
Lotus is known to be focusing its energies on breaking into the cashed-up luxury performance market, with an ultimate goal of tripling sales from around 2000-2500 cars per year to 7000.
With the 2010 Paris Auto Show just two months away, all will be uncovered soon enough...