Lotus Building Drop-Top Evora For The US
After Lotus failed to meet US safety standards at the end of last year, the company was forced to pull out of the US market. Many were concerned that Lotus would never return, due to the company’s checkered financial past. However, within a few weeks of the first announcement, Lotus reaffirmed that the brand would be back in the US the following year, bringing with it, the new Lotus Evora 400. But that won’t be the only car Lotus returns with in 2016. According to company boss Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus will be launching a convertible version of the Evora 400 as well. Gales told Autocar that since, “the chassis is a tub, there’s no impact with the roof off.” However, the roof is removable, not power assisted. That might be an impediment to sales success in the US, where creature comforts are key. RELATED: See More Photos of the Lotus Evora According to Lotus, the roof consists of two pieces, each weighing about six pounds. That means every time you want to enjoy your Evora without the top, you have to remove both roof pieces and place them into the trunk. This seems a bit unwieldy, but from an engineering standpoint, is much easier to design for a four-seat convertible. What won’t change is the supercharged V6 engine that pumps out 400 horsepower—plenty for a car that weighs as little as the Evora. Even with the roof off, and two heavier roof panels added, the company expects the open-top version of the Evora to still hit 60 miles per hour in just 4.1 seconds, and reach a top speed of 186 miles per hour. Additionally, Gales stated that the company is hard at work building both a new Elise and Exige for the US market, as well as the company’s first ever SUV. RELATED: Why Lotus is building an SUV While SUVs are all the rage right now, especially luxury ones, building a Lotus SUV seems to fly in the face of the company’s mantra of lighter is better. We’ll hold off judgment though until we see the final product, but hopefully it will do for Lotus what the Cayenne did for Porsche.
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