Group Lotus plc will fill a niche all its own when it unleashes its new Evora, the only midengine 2+2 in the market.
The ā10 Evora goes on sale in Europe and May, but wonāt make it to North America until 2010.
Production of the new sports car already is under way at Lotusā Worcester, U.K., facility, where the aluminum chassis is made, and at the Hethel, U.K., plant where the vehicles are finished.
Lotus says output will ramp up over the next few months, peaking at a 34-car-per-week pace in July. The Evora is being added into the mix of Elise, Exige, Europa and 2-Eleven production, which is slated to escalate from 44 units per week now to 55-60 by summer.
Powering the Evora is a 3.5L V-6 delivering 276 hp at 6,400 rpm and 252 lb.-ft. (342 Nm) of torque at 4,700 rpm. A 0-60 mph (97 km/h) run takes about 5 seconds, Lotus says, and top speed is 160 mph (257 km/h).
Only a 6-speed manual gearbox is available, but Lotus says an automatic transmission ultimately will be offered in the Evora.
European-cycle fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg (8.7 L/100 km), with carbon-dioxide emissions limited to 205 g/km.
The Evoraās cockpit is equipped with Recaro sport seats and flush with leather. Light-emitting diodes illuminate controls and cast a blue glow throughout the cabin. Buyers can opt out of the rear seats, converting the car into a 2-seater with room for cargo in the back. A convertible version of the car is planned, but no release date has been set.
Lotus is backing the car with a 3-year/60,000-mile (100,000-km) bumper-to-bumper warranty in Europe, plus an 8-year guarantee against chassis perforation.
In the U.K., the Evora bases at Ā£47,500 ($65,454) for the 2-seater and Ā£49,875 ($68,727) for the 2+2. North American pricing is expected to be released this fall.