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Discussion Starter #21
The difference you experienced is what Lotus is best at producing. Tactile feedback to the driver. Just like the Porsche, the Evora's performance limits are well beyond street legal speeds, but the Evora is more enjoyable because of the feedback.
Yeah it really was interesting seeing how much better the Evora was at engaging and delighting the driver compared to the Cayman. After a few hours of driving the Cayman my buddy and I were kind of like "eh...I mean I guess it's okay" whereas we went well over our mileage limit when renting the Evora because of how much we ended up driving and enjoying the car.
 

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The S definitely sounds awesome. Thats what I enjoy the most. Its also 'fun at any speed' its just more of an event getting there.

People will say you just need to do a few mods to the NA to get it close to S power. Which is true but even then I bet in the back of your head you will always wishing you had got the S.:)
What's funny is after getting an S you start eyeing the 400 for more power you probably don't need.

To answer the OP question, the Evora S is probably the threshold of usable public road performance. It's too much power for city streets, but the handling makes it fun. The power really comes into play over the base engine on highways and nice country roads/canyons.

For some real world scenarios, I can pass almost instantly in sport mode in the city and if you floor it while cruising you'll have to back off quickly because you'll be doing 60 in a 35 in about 2 seconds. You'll have to go out at 5am with no traffic to safely redline 3rd gear in suburban areas but you will be over posted speed limits.

Backroads and highways, you can safely redline 4th gear and shift up with a clear road in front of you, but you're breaking the law. Pushing the car to it's limits through all 6 gears will almost certainly get you arrested in any scenario.

As long as you don't try and set laptimes everywhere you drive you can use the fun parts of the power and handling in select situations. Keep in mind Lotus designed the Evora to be liveable and fun when not pushing to the limit, but when you do get to the limit you'll find another level of enjoyment.
 

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If you dig back though my old posts you'll find a few of them on this (and for the Elise). I've always felt that the N/A Evora was the sweet spot for road driving but went with the S as I felt I'd want the extra power. On most back (ie fun) roads the S is too much to be truely enjoyable. It is a ton of fun and the acceleration is great but it is too dangerous to get anywhere near the cars capabilities. Saying that it would be nearly impossible to get to the N/As limits on those roads to but the difference is the gear/shift points etc as the lower power will make it feel like you're drving it harder. I really think an S is too much for the street and the only real time the extra power makes a difference is say accelerating on an on ramp, jumping away from the light or pulling away on the higway. 90+% of the time the N/A car is enough. Saying that I'd like a 400 or GT, just because and for those moments to be a child, but the N/A car is a sweet spot for fun driving on public roads. Its power band just matches a twisty road perfectly and sets up a perfect rhythm.

I also just bought a 987 base Boxster. Its no Elise (or Evora) but it is a realy nice car. I was a bit of an impulse buy and I would like an S but in the couple of months I have it, I've found that I actually like the simpler base lower powered car. It has enough power to feel quick, but not fast but on the back roads where it spends most of its time, it hits that sweet spot where you can use most of the cars power and get closer to the cars limits safely within the confines of the public highway which is a lot of fun as you feel you are really driving it hard.
 

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Cornbeef. What you say about power parallels completely with what I have said for years about TOO much /extreme suspension modifications...driving in sport mode all the time etc. In the hands of an expert driving at the limits.....YES!! The rest of the time they aren't feeling the transient responses etc as much and actually detracting from the experience. They are reacting instead of learning. #1 thing I have to do with all novices is make sure they start the day with car driving normally all nannies on. Feel those limits during the day then start to dial it up as needed. If they have no clue that they are in TC , they aren't ready!!! It is usually an epiphany for the student.
Thus also my attitude about everyone wanting more power all the time. To the OP, buy what you find you like and don't let the S or NA deter you . Both are some of the best cars ever built. The power thing is a reason I am at my naughtiest when driving the Miata on a public road. The fun is more assessible
 
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A month or so back we somehow found a McLaren 720S in our garage. We pretty quickly decided that it would often be more fun to drive if it only had like 450 hp. As discussed here, when a car gets into VERY illegal behaviors too quickly, we can miss out on good driving experience. The 720 gets you from 60 to 120 mph in just a quick breath. A lot of fun, never gets old. And the car can manage that power and speed well. But my daily Honda Civic Si with 200 hp and a 6 speed stick provides much more usable entertainment.

I would recommend an S though. Great car, very good balance of power and handling. One of the best driver’s cars ever at any price.
 
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I have had a 2012 Evora S for 1 1/2 years. It is a blast to drive on the street, on a winding road, on the interstate ... anywhere I have taken it. BTW: I have been on 3 roadtrips each of which exceeded 2,000 miles in length. Every mile was enjoyable, and every mile I was aware that I was in something rare, high performance and special. These vacation roads included Route 66, northern New Mexico's Enchanted Circle, the Tail of the Dragon, the Blue Ridge Parkway and its offshoots (absolutely marvelous), the infield of the Daytona 2 Hours, and probably 2,500 miles if interstate. Just absolutely marvelous!
 

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A month or so back we somehow found a McLaren 720S in our garage. We pretty quickly decided that it would often be more fun to drive if it only had like 450 hp.
Always shift before ~4,500 RPM and you'll never have more than 450 hp. You're welcome.
 

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11' Evora S owner here. 2 yrs and ~8k miles to date. To answer OP: The S is absolutely streetable and you can enjoy the full range of power.
 

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Always shift before ~4,500 RPM and you'll never have more than 450 hp. You're welcome.
I appreciate the suggestion.

They won’t get prego if you only put it half way in. Be sure to do it that way always.

Seriously, pegging it and getting that sound of 8,000 revs and feeling that walloping gear shift is something I don’t have it in me to do without. Just too remarkable. I’ve never been very good at portion control.
 

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Of course the Evora S is a perfect street car, can be driven as a DD or cross country and onto tracks.
 

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OP, definitely get the S if you can swing the extra 5K that they command. Resale value will be higher too when you go to sell it so consider that as well.

As for the usability of the extra 69 HP, it depends on where you’ll be driving it and your driving style. Those that live in a mostly urban area and/or are reluctant to “get on it” may not take advantage of the S part of “Evora S” as those that have more open roads and/or heavier right feet.

I owned a 2012 Evora S for five years since new. Omg, what a car and did I ever have many miles of smiles as well as evil laughs while ringing that car out. It suited my driving style and also the fact that I live nearby some nice rural twisties and fairly open highways.

I’m now incredibly fortunate to own a 2020 Evora GT and a final year 2011 Elise SC (my second Elise SC). Never have I regretted paying the extra money for the supercharged version of my Lotuses.

Again, you’ll pay a little more for the S version but you’ll recoup that when it’s time to sell. Enjoy......
 

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I love my 2014 S. Now I did do some mods so I did gain about 30 more WHP. it is plenty fast and a blast to drive. my wife loves cars and I take comfort that it is a car that she can drive and enjoy without the fear of wrapping it around a pole like the crazy HP modern muscle cars. I don't track or auto cross at all so my enjoyment is on our Kentucky back roads.
 
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