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Lotus unveils the Evora

Project Eagle has finally been unveiled today at the 2008 British Motor Show as the Evora, and Lotus is beaming over its little eaglet. The Evora will be the most grown up and accessible Lotus in the British manufacturer's lineup. To illustrate, the automaker claims it will fit two American males in the front seats (did they just call us fat?). It's a mid-engine, 2+2 coupe (a convertible is planned) with 3.5L V6 sourced from Toyota but elevated by Lotus above its humble origins to produce 276 horsepower. The car weighs just 2,976 lbs., which might be a lot for a Lotus but is well below the average weight of most cars. The interior is unlike any you've seen from this automaker, which is to say that occupying one won't be like staying in a hostel compared to a four-star hotel. You've got leather all around, a nav system, and Lotus promises ingress and egress have been vastly improved over its other models.

The Evora will be built on a new assembly line at the company's assembly plant in Hethel, England at the rate of 2,000 annually, but has been designed to meet safety and emissions requirements around the world. That many cars for so many markets means the Evora will be exclusive, although we don't expect Lotus to leave money on the table if there's big demand for its new, softer, more accessible sports car. Other vehicles will also eventually be built on the Evora's new aluminum chassis, which is called the Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) and was first seen on the Lotus APX Concept. It can be stretched, widened and carry a vehicle weighing over 4,000 lbs. One new Lotus is enough for now, though, as we try to wrap our heads around a Hethel-based car with creature comforts.