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Lotus Evora S IPS the automatic choice

Here and now: The first examples of the automatic Lotus Evora IPS are now in Australia.

Automatic Lotus Evora S flagship arrives as Proton takeover causes supply struggles

20 Apr 2012

FIRST examples of the flagship Evora S with a new automatic transmission are now arriving in Australian showrooms priced at $150,990 plus on-road costs.

It becomes the most expensive Lotus, sitting atop the modified MY2012 Evora range that has received 120 improvements across the board in return for price increases of $4000 on naturally-aspirated 2+2 variants and $6000 for the supercharged S.

Fitted with a six-speed Toyota-sourced, Lotus tuned automatic transmission featuring sport mode, the 257kW/40Nm Evora S takes five seconds to reach 100km/h on the way to a 266km/h top speed.

That is two tenths slower to reach triple digits than the manual version, while terminal velocity is 11km/h lower.

However, the extra convenience expected to be sought by most Australian buyers also comes with slightly increased fuel efficiency.

To this end, the automatic Evora S consumes a claimed 9.7 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, compared with 9.9L/100km for the manual.

57 center imageIn addition to general quality improvements the interior is enhanced by higher-grade leather upholstery that is now applied to more areas of the dashboard, new leather-piped floor mats and a redesigned steering wheel.

A new bi-modal exhaust system emits a throatier roar above 4700rpm or at all times if sport mode is activated, while bi-Xenon headlights have become standard fit, as have body-coloured door handles and red brake callipers.

As a result, the price of a naturally-aspirated Evora 2+2 rises $4000 to $123,990, with the IPS automatic costing $128,990 and the supercharged, manual Evora S is $6000 more expensive at $145,990.

According to VFACTS, Australian deliveries of Lotus cars are up 81.8 per cent in the first quarter, and public relations manager for recently-appointed importer Ateco Automotive, Edward Rowe, told GoAuto the company had an order bank of about 100 cars.

Mr Rowe said the sales results would be even higher except for an interrupted supply caused by the takeover of Lotus’ Malaysian parent company Proton by conglomerate DRB-HICOM.

As a result, customer and dealer deliveries have backed up, impacting showroom supplies of automatic Evoras – which Ateco expects to be its volume seller – but Mr Rowe told GoAuto the company hopes to be “fully back on track” by the fourth quarter.

He said production returned to normal levels about a month ago and the Hethel production line was rushing to fulfil Australian orders.

“The factory clearly knows the vehicles we need and we are getting priority build because of the shipping distance from Europe,” he said.

When Ateco took over Lotus distributorship for Australia and New Zealand last year, introducing price cuts and increased equipment across the range, it expected the Evora to outsell the Elise, but so far the opposite has happened.

Mr Rowe said the reason was related to the supply issues but now that volume-boosting automatic versions of the Evora were coming on-stream, Ateco’s prediction would be realised.

The automatic Evora S joins the also recently-arrived, stripped-out Elise Club Racer in a growing Australian Lotus line-up.

Plans to further expand the range, as laid out by six stunning concept cars at the 2010 Paris motor show that clearly placed the brand on a more upmarket tack, are on hold while the takeover of Proton is in progress.

Lotus Evora pricing (before on-roads):
2+2 IPS (a)$128,990
S IPS (a)$150,990

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