Supercharged Lotus Evora to make at least 350hp, more variations on the way

The Lotus Evora made its North American debut at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, but a new report indicates that reveal was just the tip of the iceberg for the 2+2. More variations of the Evora are on the way, including a supercharged model developing at least 350 horsepower.

The supercharged version will use the same 3.5L Toyota-sourced V6 as the base model, with horsepower seeing a boost from 276 to at least 350. Torque will also see an improvement over the naturally aspirated car, likely nearing the 300 lb-ft mark in production form. Those performance figures should be enough to propel the Evora SC to 60 mph in 5 seconds - a half second improvement over the base Evora - and improve the car's terminal velocity to 175 mph, according to Autocar.

Although the Evora is expected to hit the market in May 2009, horsepower junkies will have to wait a few years longer for the supercharged version. Lotus will be focusing on other variations of the Evora first, delaying the Evora SC's launch until 2011.

In the meantime, Lotus will be developing more luxurious versions of the Evora to better suit its current list of high-profile clientele. Although it may seem like blasphemy to Lotus loyalist, the British automaker is currently developing an automatic transmission to pair with the Evora, largely due to strong demand in the U.S. However, the automatic gearbox won't be ready for the car's U.S. launch. "Right now, it's looking unlikely that we'll have the auto version next year," a Lotus spokesman told Autocar. "There's quite a lot of development work still to be done on it."

Also in the works is a roadster version of the Evora. Unlike lightweight Lotus convertibles of the past, the Evora roadster will do with a retractable hardtop. The metal top won't exactly make the Evora convertible a featherweight, but Lotus engineers are working hard to ensure the unit doesn't compromise the car's overall handling. Expect the Evora roadster to show up in Lotus showrooms in late 2010.