August 4, 2021
By: Richard Roe

Impracticality for the Uninitiated

> I barely knew anything about cars... and then I bought a Lotus Evora.
Tags: evora, lotus, my cars,

Pre-existing Knowledge? What is that?

I cannot stress this enough: I knew (well, know) very little about cars. I could drive stick - which is rare enough these days, but if you had asked me the difference between a v6 or a flat-6, I'd look at you like you're speaking a different language. I'd driven a base model '00 Ford Mustang, a '96 Isuzu Rodeo, a '00 Ford F150, and some generic Kia - and then, on a whim, I bought a Lotus Evora. I didn't know anything about it other than that it looked nice, and I wanted it. I'll have to write up my actual experience buying it, but essentially: I woke up one day with no thought in my mind that I'd own one, and went to bed with one in the garage.

I own an Evora - what now?

I was halfway home the night I bought it when I realized that the car didn't have cupholders. Small thing to consider - so small, in fact, that it's not something that crossed my mind when I was looking at the car. As soon as I noticed that, I realized I was in some trouble: I had no clue what to even look at on this thing, or what it would even take to own it. This is also my car - I don't have any other vehicle, so I was going to be daily driving it. I live in downtown San Francisco, I hadn't really driven all that much in nearly three years, and I needed to get used to the car quickly. So, I'm not ashamed to admit that the next day I broke the manual out, and read it cover to cover. Once that was done, I went out late at night and drove around the area - the car had noticeably more torque than anything I had driven before, and I absolutely was not used to that much car. A few nights of that, and I felt comfortable driving it places like normal.

I absolutely love this car

I can't stress enough how much I love this car. So much, in fact, that I already put a deposit down on a Lotus Emira - and I can't wait to start writing about that in the near future. But, just in the last few months, there have been some interesting/quirky things I've noticed or dealt with, and I figured I'd document that so far.

The Hills

I learned to drive stick in Florida - which is pretty dang flat. I now live in San Francisco - which is about as far removed from Florida as you can get. I very quickly realized that I didn't fully know how to drive a stick, because I was legitimately terrified of getting stopped on a hill. Luckily, I solved this problem pretty easily - I watched a few YouTube videos and practiced on the ramps in a parking garage at night, before moving on to practicing on some hills in the area. My 'graduation' from hill stops was making my way to Twin Peaks - and now I'm fairly confident I won't cause an accident at a red light.

The Looks

The car gets a lot of looks - both while parked, and while driving around. Having random people take photos of me while I'm going about my day is a new experience for m - and so is being worried of the hood getting scratched from people sitting on it taking pictures. Thankfully the car is not so nice that I have random people taaking photos of it frequently. I do, however, get more people looking at it when there's a Giant's game and people are headed to/leaving the ballpark (I live pretty close to the park). There must be a healthy overlap between sports fans and car enthusiasts, because the heads that turn are usually topped with a Giant's cap.

The Quirks

I mentioned it before, but not having cupholders is actually pretty annoying. Luckily, I solved that fairly easily with an insert that matches the car's interior trim. Another issue was that the car did not come with a bracket/mount for the front license plate, but California requires front plates. I did some high-level Googling, and found a mount the can screw into the front tow hook - so that problem is solved too.

Gas mileage isn't great, but it's not terrible. When not in Sport mode, I get 23-24 mpg - and in Sport mode, I get 17-19 mpg. I haven't yet tested this with extended highway travel, but I'll probably be able to get close to 300 miles between fillups if I really try not to push it.

The air conditioning kinda sucks. The defrost pretty much does not work, and the airflow can only bounce between barely there and too much. I will say, however, that I do like the actual knobs used to control the AC - small thing, but I like them. But the little Pioneer system used for navigation/radio kinda sucks a lot - I put in a phone mount and just use my iPhone, since the existing unit doesn't have Android Auto/Apple Carplay.

I'm 5'10, 170 pounds - and I, for the life of me, can't climb out of the car gracefully. It's so low, and the sills(?) are side wide, I practically have to climb out. One time I had to sort of half-get-out of the car to pay for parking in a garage, and all that did was make me feel silly and realize how limber I'm not.

Rear visibility is, well... take a look for yourself:

I might be able to fit a pizza box through that window...

What's next?

I want to take it to a track. I'll need to figure out how I'll be getting it serviced. I'm also going on my first 600+ mile road trip with it soon, so I can experience driving it on an open road. Hopefully I get some fun stories to write about - but whatever happens, I'll document what it's like.