Welcome to potential Lotus ownership.Thinking about buying an Evora here. I love driving and working on British sports cars, and have a 1957 Austin-Healey 100-6, a 1974 MGB (chrome bumper), and also a supercharged BRZ daily driver. I don't drive my Healey nearly enough, just letting it sit in the garage, so I'm going to sell it and get something I can use as more of a DD.
Friends have been trying to convince me that the Cayman is a better car and that I should get it instead--but to that I say: ha. The look and image of all Porsches just doesn't do it for me. I haven't driven one, so I can't say whether it's a better car, really. Lotuses (Loti?) have always had sexy mystique to me, but the Elise is too far into the impractical realm for something I'd get.
* I'm probably going to go with a 2011 Evora 2+2, but things I'm wondering: is the naturally aspirated version powerful enough? Will I regret not getting the S?
* What's insurance like? Geico gave me a pretty low quote (~$900 for a year, I think. I'm 28.) State Farm wanted something like $2400. All State was in the middle, $1400 or so.
Anyway, hello from a new user!
If you like working on British Cars, with the Healy and MGB (I had a much loved 70 BGT) as reference, owning/working on a modern Lotus (plural of Lotus is Lotus...Lotus actually issued a service bulletin to this effect back in the 60's) has nothing to do with your frame of reference. That's to be expected, working on a modern Mustang is nothing like working on a vintage Mustang.
It's sacrilige on here, but I really like the current Cayman S. Hell of a car. Equal to or superior to the Evora in most ways. The Evora is more satisfying to drive and somewhat more responsive, but from the multiple comparo tests I've read on track days drivers being equal the Cayman S generally laps faster. The infamous Lotus 'feel' IS a big factor, for sure.
And of course there is the style/exclusivity issue. Lotus has that all over the Cayman in most peoples' eyes, although I prefer the Cayman's styling to the Evora's. And you will see more Cayman's on the road. That seems to be really important to some folks.
I've driven N/A and S Evoras. My own view is buy the most powerful one you can afford. If you get a killer deal on an N/A, great, but just know there are faster from the factory Evoras out there. I DID own an NA and S Exige, and it was a BIG difference.
You can always own a Porsche...there will always be plenty to choose from. Unless Lotus gets its act together, for the most part all the Lotus that will be available in the U.S. are currently in the U.S., so jump into Lotus ownership while you can still get new/low mileage ones.