Lotus Launches Automatic Evora S IPS

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Lotus packs its six-speed IPS automatic transmission into the top-of-the-line Evora S.

There's no question that Lotus makes some of the sweetest-handling sportscars on the market. But the niche of enthusiasts that buy them isn't enough for any automaker to sustain itself these days. So in pursuit of more mainstream buyers, the British automaker has debuted its new Intelligent Precision Shift (IPS) six-speed automatic transmission on its Evora range. Already offered on the base 276-horsepower Evora, the IPS gearbox has now made its way onto the supercharged 345hp Evora S.

The transmission does away with the clutch pedal and replaces it with four different modes to suit a variety of driving situations: full automatic mode, manual paddle-shift mode, or automatic or manual Sport mode. The Sport Pack that's optional on the base Evora is standard on the Evora S, providing drivers with sharper throttle response, a variable exhaust and cross-drilled brakes. Don't expect all that gadgetry to come cheap, though. While the Evora in its latest iteration starts at $66,800 in two-seat, naturally-aspirated form, the top-of-the-line Evora S with the IPS transmission starts at nearly $83,000 before other options are taken into account.

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By comparison, the Porsche Cayman starts out with 265 horsepower (marginally less than the base Evora's 276) for $51,900 (a good $15k cheaper than the Evora) and fetches $62,100 for the 320hp Cayman S (to the $77k, 276hp Evora S), placing the Evora S closer to the $82k base price of the 350hp 911 Carrera.

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