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Jay Leno Put ‘500 Hard Miles’ on a Lotus Evora GT, Found It to Be Excellent

2021 is the final model year for the Evora.

All current Lotus models are built on a version of the extruded bonded aluminum chassis originating from 1994, but now that the Elise and Exige Final Editions are out to bring joy to the rest of the world, the U.S.-market Evora GT also finds itself in its final model year. Once production runs out, the Hethel factory will make way for the mysterious successor to all three models, so far only known as the Type 131. However, before that would happen, Jay Leno decided to borrow a red Lotus Evora GT and test it hard for 500 miles, only to confirm that it’s “an excellent product” that even delivers good fuel economy. And having driven a very similar European-spec GT410 Sport in 2019, I couldn’t agree more. 

The Lotus Evora platform came a long way since the first cars of 2010, and with a 3.5-liter V6 supercharged to 416 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque (or 332 with the optional automatic), the 2020 Evora GT is a 188-mph affair, as well as one of the best sounding sports cars on the market. Pair it with the most enjoyable six-speed manual in the business and Lotus throws in a limited-slip differential as well. The price for all this fun begins just under $100,000, which may feel steep compared to an equally mid-engine 2021 Corvette, yet reasonable for a refined analog driving experience. Exclusivity comes standard.

Youtube | Jay Leno’s Garage

The Evora is built to a very high standard, and with the optional carbon fiber package, it looks and feels expensive as well. The cabin is more on the traditional than the high-tech side for sure, yet your phone will connect via Bluetooth, and the rest is taken care of by the perfectly weighted steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara, and that solid aluminum shifter.

The throaty Lotus-tweaked 3.5-liter V6 has plenty of power thanks to the linear delivery of its supercharger, and given how the Evora handles through corners, it’s easy to forget how quick it gets in a straight line as well.

The 2020 Evora GT’s other figures include a zero-to-60 run in 3.9 seconds and a power-to-weight ratio of 301 horsepower per ton. With such performance come 19 and 20-inch forged alloy wheels, AP Racing brakes, and Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tires.

After claiming to have driven “500 hard miles” in the outgoing Evora GT, my only question is when will Leno get one to park next to his other Lotus—an Elan from the ’60s?

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