A common perspective shared amongst enthusiasts about modern Lotus vehicles is that while the British-built parts may break often, the Toyota-supplied parts are reliable. This video documenting the problems of a 2013 Evora shows that sometimes even the Toyota parts can cause issues.
This Evora came into the Car Wizard's shop because the automatic transmission was coming out of gear and into neutral while on the move. It's worth noting that this Lotus's mid-mounted engine and gearbox are commonly found in many Toyota products from the era. In fact, the 3.5-liter Toyota 2GR-FE V6 is something you'd find in the Camry, Avalon, Sienna, and more vehicles from the mid-2000s through the 2010s. Later Evora variants use a supercharged version of this powerplant, like the 410-horsepower GT410 version pictured below.
Gallery: 2020 Lotus Evora GT410
After the unprompted shift to neutral happens, the car won't let driver shift into any other gear. Without being about to reach Park, the driver also can't turn the key to shut off the engine. You need to use a scan tool or unplug the battery to solve the issue temporarily. But the problem eventually comes back.
Working on this Lotus looks like a hellish task because there's so little access to the mid-mounted engine. There's a firewall ahead of it and a tiny storage space to the rear. The intake blocks you from seeing an entire bank of the V6's cylinders.
After hours of diagnosis, the technicians believe the problem is actually due to an issue with the Toyota-supplied wiring harness or a busted module, rather than the transmission itself. Coincidentally, these harnesses are a known failure point for Toyotas from the early 2010s. The only way to fix the problem is to replace it.
Someone in the YouTube comments reports having this issue with an Evora of their own "I had an identical Lotus. Similar problem. Turned out to be a loose ground wire to the ECU. When the engine got hot, the loose ground would vibrate and lose contact," the person wrote.
People on forums who own a Toyota of this era report various wiring problems resulting in multiple issues. For example, a person with a 2012 Sienna says: "So far malfunctions are limited to the lights, windows, locks, power doors/lift, alarm. Sometimes nothing works, sometimes all of it, sometimes a few things work." Similarly, someone with a 2013 Camry claimed issues with the engine not starting and the gauge lights not working. Yet another account alleges the blinkers are not operating and the engine is stalling.
So if you're considering a modern Lotus because you think all of the Toyota parts will make it semi-reliable, we suggest doing a bit more research.