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 â€™10 Evora goes on sale in Europe and May, but wonâ€™t make it to North America until 2010.
Production of the new sports car already is under way at Lotusâ€™ 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 Evoraâ€™s 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 ÂŁ47,500 ($65,454) for the 2-seater and ÂŁ49,875 ($68,727) for the 2+2. North American pricing is expected to be released this fall.