Lotus adds automatic transmission option to Evora S

Lotus adds automatic transmission option to Evora S
The 2013 Lotus Evora S will have an optional six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual will be standard. (Lotus)

Simplify, then add lightness was the well-worn philosophy that Lotus' founder, the late Colin Chapman, imbued into all of his products.

For 2013, it would seem the company is simplifying, then adding an automatic transmission.

The company announced that it will be adding an automatic transmission to the options list on the 2013 Evora S, a sublime hunk of metal powered by a 345-horsepower, supercharged Toyota motor.

Review: Lotus Evora S

Because automatic transmission likely sounds too blase for a sports car company like Lotus, it calls this transmission Intelligent Precision Shift (IPS). It will cost you $2,850 on top of the Evora S' $77,100 base price.

This gearbox, which was already available on the base Evora, is a six-speed unit with paddle shifters and a Sport mode. When engaged, Sport mode increases the car's throttle response, opens a bypass valve in the exhaust, dials back the stability control's interference, and provides "crisper shifts," according to Lotus.

Though purists may decry this addition as yet another nail in the coffin of cars with manual transmissions, keep in mind that during our review of the Evora S we praised nearly every element of the car -- except its manual transmission.

That six-speed gearbox finds work overseas in a diesel Lexus IS. Frankly, it should have stayed there, because, as our review put it, "it feels like you're dragging a stick through a bag of angry cats. It's neither precise nor confident, and it is the only part of the car that doesn't make you feel like your driving skills took a cocktail of EPO that morning.""

So live with an ornery manual transmission or perpetuate the alleged demise of an automotive era with the IPS. With the 2013 models rolling into dealerships now, the choice is yours.


Chrysler previews its 2012 SEMA concepts

Sitting shotgun in Porsche's upcoming plug-in hybrid supercar

Chevrolet to unveil 2014 Corvette at Detroit Auto Show