With the Elise and Exige no longer certified for use on American roads, it’d be all too easy to forget that Lotus still sells cars in the United States. Just one model, in fact. And it’s recalling it.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that Lotus is calling in 40 examples of the Evora – the last model it still sells on this side of the Atlantic.
The affected vehicles are all 2018 models, manufactured between April 21 and October 2 of this year. And though Lotus doesn’t report its sales figures as regularly as most other automakers, we gather that’s probably most (if not all) of the Evoras it sold here over the 2018 model year.
The issue is with the steering system, which has long been one of Lotus’ strong suits. But this problem relates less to its handling performance than the vehicle’s safety. According to the recall notice, “the steering column may not properly collapse to absorb some of the impact energy” in the event of a head-on collision.
The faulty steering column – manufactured for Lotus by Bosch and supplied by Power Torque Engineering – will need to be replaced on all the affected vehicles. Those who’ve already paid out of pocket to have their steering systems repaired will also be reimbursed retroactively.
The Evora was the last all-new model introduced by Lotus, back in 2008, on an all-new platform. It packs a 3.5-liter V6 sourced from Toyota and extensively modified by Lotus for use in the Evora (and in the smaller Exige), supercharged to as much as 430 horsepower (321 kW) and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque, enabling the top Evora GT430 Sport to reach 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds before topping out at 196 mph (315 km/h).
That’s substantially more than the first, naturally aspirated version of the Evora that kicked out just 276 hp (206 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) for a 4.8-second sprint and a 163-mph (262-km/h) top end. Which only goes to show what the boys in Hethel can do with the limited tools they’ve been given.