Fat People Fit in the Lotus Evora!

Lotus Evora 1 TFL 

By: Nathan Adlen

You think I’m kidding about the title – don’t you? Nope, I have proof – – hell, I AM the proof!

Let’s start about a year ago. I was at a media track event at the California Speedway where I got to drive automaker’s offerings on and off the track. This was my first time piloting the amazing Lotus Elise solo. This is, by every standard, one of the best handling cars in production – period. It’s slick looking, sounds great and sticks to the track like spider-snot.

There were a few issues with the Elise: 

Yes – it handles like a go-kart – and it rides like one too. My kidneys fell through my bladder.

It ain’t big. It’s so small, a Mini Cooper can provide shade when parked next to one.

IF you manage to squeeze inside, anyone over six-feet and/or 250-lbs will look like a complete idiot during ingress and egress. I looked like a fat, albino ape trying to crawl into the backside of a gazelle.

There is no way to carry more than one passenger AND forget anything resembling luggage.

I’ve driven several Lotus’ from the Esprit V8 to an Elan and they all have lots of potential, but they feel like parts are (or have) fallen off during the drive. I have personally seen some outrageous Lotus absurdity as they seemed engineered to foil confidence. Still, Lotus builds exciting cars with tons of character and damn-good performance.

Why can’t they build something a tad more practical and reliable?

Lotus Evora 2 TFL 

They just did! It’s the fantastic 2011 Lotus Evora and I love many things about this new car. It looks great, it handles nearly as good as an Elise or Porsche Cayman and it can deal with my big ass plopping in the driver’s seat with little drama. Okay, there is a bit of discomfort when entering, but it’s substantially less than twisting into an Elise.

As I drove the 276 horsepower Toyota sourced V6 (it’s been played with by Lotus – I assure you) and began to get comfortable with my surroundings – it occurred to me that this was a spiritual successor to the Lotus Elite Type 75 – which was a crappy car. Sorry, but it was. Anyway, the 2+2 setup is what I’m talking about as there are no other Lotus vehicles with a back seat.

If you want to call it a back seat… it’s more of a second cargo area. Still, after eyeballing the back, I came to the conclusion that my toddler could sit in his government regulated seat with a small-ish person sitting in front. As if to prove a point, by forcing the front seats up as far as they will go, I (barely) squeezed in the back of one at the Detroit Auto show – boy did that piss off the Lotus people.

Driving the car was remarkably simple and the Lotus Evora is a pussycat. It dances around sharp curves and only feels twitchy when driving like a complete moron – which I did. Even then, it felt secure and buttoned down. In fact, it felt like a mature sports car rather than a rickety kit-car.

The interior was comfortable and surprisingly quiet with attractive if not memorable switchgear.

I only had a few laps to play and I was crushed when I found out my joy-ride was over. This is such a monumentally better car than anything Lotus has produced in recent memory. Sure, the Elise is a better track car, but the Evora is a better car – period.

If I had 80-large and wanted a daily sports car – I would definitely consider the 2011 Lotus Evora. Magazines will dismiss it against the tried and true from Germany and Italy, but I think it’s something special. Besides, it held my hefty body with no complaint – that’s something for fellow plus-size-amigos to think about.

Lotus Evora 3 TFL 

Here’s the closest thing we could show regarding Lotus. In this case, it’s a Tesla Roadster GT that shares many components with some Lotus vehicles.