Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The Lotus Evora is powered by a mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine sourced from Toyota. It generates 276bhp at 6,400rpm and 350Nm or torque at 4,600rpm.

Although it’s not as nice to listen to as the yowling flat six in the Porsche Cayman it still has a reasonably fruity exhaust note, especially on start up.

There’s also a more powerful supercharged version, the Lotus Evora S. This kicks out 345bhp at 7,000rpm and a muscular 400Nm of torque at 4,500rpm.

In this form, the Evora has the performance to match its junior supercar looks. There’s plenty of clout for overtaking and the engine is so torquey and flexible that you rarely need to change below fourth gear to tackle a winding road or pass slower traffic.

Although the Evora comes with a manual gearbox as standard (with a cable linkage that can occasionally feel slightly notchy) an automatic transmission is also available which Lotus calls IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift). This includes paddles behind the wheel so you can swap gears manually when you want to.

The optional Sport pack (standard on the Evora S) adds a button to the left of the steering wheel which when pressed raises the rev limit, makes the throttle response more sensitive and slackens the traction control system’s hold on the rear tyres. For what it’s worth, it also makes the exhaust note sound a bit racier.

Throttle response is keen in the Evora but it can still be difficult to match the revs precisely on downshifts; it’s easy to under- or over-rev a little, especially when the sharper Sport mode throttle map is switched on.

Lotus Evora performance figures are as follows:

Lotus Evora (manual gearbox): 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds, top speed 163mph

Lotus Evora (IPS automatic gearbox): 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, top speed 159mph

Lotus Evora S (manual gearbox): 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds, top speed 178mph

Lotus Evora S (IPS automatic gearbox): 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, top speed 167mph

This, of course, is very much what the Evora’s about. It’s a car you drive with your wrists rather than your arms, with heavy control weights for the wheel and pedals helping to give the car a measured feel.

Unlike the Elise, the Evora has power steering but the wheel still writhes around in your hands on bumpy roads, constantly chattering away about the surface beneath you.

A longer wheelbase makes the Evora less twitchy than the Elise but it can still be quite lively, especially in the wet.

Something that really does need praising is the ride quality – it’s good enough to put most family cars we test to shame. Point the Evora at a stretch of lumpy, broken tarmac and it’ll glide over it smoothly in a way you simply wouldn’t normally expect from a low-slung sports car.