The Incredible Lotus Evora Has the Heart of the Humble Toyota Camry

A simple, elegant machine, the Lotus Evora GT, is one of the best cars to come out of the last decade. This two-door performance vehicle is loud and has a mid-engine layout, which renders the backseat little more than decor. And there’s no proper seat padding, so it wouldn’t feel that comfortable if someone could fit back there. 

But let’s talk about the engine. Where did this dynamic car get the engine that’s at the heart of its power? What popular midsize car is the Evora’s engine based on here?

The Lotus Evora GT

British automaker Lotus has one car on the American market, the Lotus Evora GT, where 2020 saw it’s moniker change from 400 to GT. It’s as exotic as you expect and gives you the dynamic driving experience you desire. 

The mid-engine layout and Lotus pedigree is known for its exotic engineering elements. It’s lightweight with precision steering making it a driving experience like no other. As Car and Driver pointed out, there’s no match for Evora’s exclusivity.

Unlike many of its rivals, there aren’t many active safety features or luxury elements in Evora. The lack is meant to keep the weight down and optimize the driving experience. The engine powering the Evora adds a supercharger that excels at higher engine speeds. Acceleration is brisk and ready. 

And it’s based on Toyota Camry’s engine.

Not the engine you expect

Lotus has a reputation for producing dynamic performance cars. Like any other manufacturer, they might cut corners to realize their latest vehicle while keeping costs down. You wouldn’t expect them to cut corners when it comes to the engine.

That doesn’t mean that the Lotus Evora or the engine are bad. If components are available and you can repurpose them instead of creating new ones, that’s a good thing. According to Speed Society, they had an engine that worked very well. Why not use it in several vehicles to reduce costs? It’s not exactly an inexpensive process to craft an engine from scratch.

It’s one thing to consider an automaker layout grabbing a motor design from another manufacturer. To think that a company like Lotus would grab the engine from Toyota’s Camry for use in one of their high-performance cars may leave you confused. But if you know a little about Lotus’s ideology, it makes sense.

Lotus isn’t about power and plenty of it. It’s about putting a competent engine to fair use in a lightweight, well-balanced high-performing car.

The heart of a Camry

One of the best things about the Lotus Evora GT, according to YouTube channel Thatdudeinblue, is that it looks like it belongs sitting alongside a Ferrari. But it’s not as expensive to buy or own. One of the reasons for this is the supercharged version of the Toyota Camry engine that powers it.

According to Car and Driver, each Evora GT gets a mid-mounted, supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine from Camry that yields 416 horsepower. It can get up to 332 lb-ft of torque with the six-speed automatic transmission. 

With a manual transmission, you get a limited-slip differential that helps traction. Power gets routed to the rear wheels. They describe the Toyota-sourced V6 as smooth and “torquey” with an empowering howl from the supercharger once it hits 4500 rpm. They found the clutch to be a little heavy but like the shifter’s mechanical feel in the manual transmission that they test drove. 

They liked the steering feedback and how easily the car handled corners. Combined with the lightweight Lotus, the unlikely supercharged Camry-based engine does the job and offers a fun ride while doing it. 

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