What is it?
There's a classic scene near the beginning of Pretty Woman where Julia Robert's hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold admonishes Richard Gere's uptight billionaire for his clumsy gear shifts at the unfamiliar manual transmission of his lawyer's sleek 1989 Lotus Espirit SE.
Two decades later most Americans still do not get a limousine as their first car, but there's plenty of them who continue to hold an automatic-only license. Keen to tap into that sizable two-pedal market, Lotus has introduced an Evora which is essentially just for them.
Dubbed the IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift), the new model pairs the Evora's 276bhp 3.5-litre V6 with an automatic 6-speed gearbox. Like the engine the transmission is sourced from Toyota, but those hoping for a dual-clutch unit to rival Porsche's PDK will have to wait for the next generation of Lotus models. The 'precision shifts' are handled by the same humble torque-converter currently found in the Lexus RX, albeit heavily reprogrammed by Lotus's engineers.
Along with the loss of a pedal, the IPS's centre console replaces the standard car's manual gearstick with a set of well-finished buttons for selecting drive, park and neutral. There's also a Sport button which remaps the gearbox's shift pattern for a more aggressive driving style and retunes the traction control for a more liberal attitude to grip.