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Lotus Evora 2+0 vs. Porsche Cayman R 3.4 litres PDK

Lotus Evora 2+0

Lotus Evora 2+0

 - £52,500

I have a problem with the Lotus Evora; I just hate the way it looks. The rear of the car is not aggressive enough and the front of the car looks cross-eyed, in a way that could only be achieved by sucking a lemon whilst staring at the sun.

Then, there's the point to this car - I simply do not get it. It sits in between the Lotus Elise and Lotus Exige yet delivers nothing apart from middle of the road power. Inside it isn't any different quality wise than the Elise or Exige and it's over £50,000. 50k for a car that looks dreadful. Point of note:  The 2+0 refers to the two front seats + 0 seats in the rear, which have been replaced with a storage shelf.

Out on the road things aren't much better either. Powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 276 horsepower @ 6,400 RPM it's nowhere near as quick as its rival the Porsche Cayman R 3.4, which will go 11mph faster. How Lotus only managed to get 276 horsepower from a 3.5-litre V6 I'll never know.

A short while ago Lotus updated the Evora with a new gearbox to combat early reviews of stickiness during the change, but it's a loud gearbox that spoils the best part of this car; refinement.

At higher speeds the Evora is quieter than an Elise and quieter than an Exige. That makes it a better cruiser. If you spend time on the motorway this would be a better car for you, although its refinement is still not close to the Porsche Cayman R, which seems to have sound proofing at least twice as thick and a gearbox developed for 2013, not 1990.

The seats are good though. And the driving position is excellent. If you are thinking about jumping to a Lotus Evora from, say, a hot hatch then you'll appreciate most of what the Lotus offers. If you've ever been graced enough to drive a Porsche, though, you'll likely be disappointed.

So, the Lotus Evora 2+0 - It's an expensive way of not going very fast, and an expensive way of not really enjoying a drive. Instead, I'm in the rare position where I agree that the Porsche Cayman R 3.4 litres PDK is a much better car that will put a much bigger smile on your face.

Porsche Cayman R 3.4 litres PDK

Porsche Cayman R 3.4 litres PDK

 - £53,914

You know full well that if you drive a Porsche Boxster or Porsche Cayman you get tarred with the you can't afford a 911 brush. Or that's what I say to people anyway.

I might be a snob, or slightly jealous that you can afford to run and maintain a Porsche, but the truth is you can't afford a 911. If you can why do you have a Boxster or a Cayman?

Perhaps it's because you're a lady; now don't take this the wrong way, but I have never seen a woman in a Porsche 911 and I have never seen a man in a Porsche Cayman. They seem to be cars targeted at two very different sexes and when looking at the Cayman, you'd be forgiven for thinking it is a bit girly.

A 2 seater Coupe, the Porsche Cayman R is powered by a 3.4-litre engine that produces 330 horsepower at 7,400 RPM and returns a combined mpg of 30.4. It'll reach a top speed of 173 mph and hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. By all accounts, then, the Cayman R is a quick car and in a straight line it'll overtake a Lotus Evora 2+0 given enough space.

The biggest appeal to the Cayman is not its speed though but rather its ability to fit anywhere.

On the motorway it looks great and on a B-road not many cars would trifle with it. That's because despite being slightly feminine compared to the 911, it's actually meaty; a rear splitter and rear boot spoiler and single center exhaust create a profile that's rather menacing, and the front of the car has two huge bumper cut outs where the fog lights live. On a dark night, if you're on drugs or something, you could freak out and think it wants to eat you alive.

At the beginning of this post you may have thought I was going to slam the Cayman. I think you'll actually find I want to praise it. It's a much nicer machine to be in and to drive than a Boxster and in terms of raw speed, it isn't that far off entry level 911's either. If you want a 2 seater that delivers fantastic looks with generous speed, the Cayman 3.4 Litres PDK is hard to beat, and it's certainly more than a match for the Lotus Evora.


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