TopGear.com22 May 2012

Out now: brand new Top Gear magazine!

The new Lotus Evora GTE, May meets Murray, driving the Dictator of Wadiya, plus FREE Le Mans/summer supplement

Over to Top Gear magazine's Editor-in-Chief Charlie Turner for a few words on this month's spanking new issue - out now!

Congratulations in advance! Because once you’ve bought your copy of Top Gear magazine, it’s the only place in the world you’ll be able to read a review of the Lotus Evora GTE. It’s a big one, this. Lotus has been in the headlines more than its mercurial management would like recently, with big questions hanging over its future finances and ownership. It’s amazing that the employees at the HQ in Hethel have been able to concentrate on anything. But focus they have, and in style. If the Exige S test in last month’s issue was a kidney punch to the doubters, the GTE continues the pounding.

And the truth of the matter is that even if Top Gear maths doesn’t stretch to corporate finance, what we do care about – as every petrolhead should – is the end result. The cars.

What’s clear, having driven both the Exige S and the Evora GTE, is that the Lotus magic continues to deliver. No one can make a quick car ride and handle like Lotus. It’s this peculiar quality, this Lotus DNA, that is unique to that corner of Norfolk. A centre of excellence that many have tried – but ultimately failed – to copy.

Of course, we’re all waiting with breath firmly bated for the knockout punch that we’re hoping will come in the form of the new Esprit next year. The signs are encouraging. If New Lotus can transform the Exige and the Evora in such a fundamental way, then what the company might deliver given a clean sheet of paper should put a smile on our faces. Wolf Zimmermann, chief technical officer of Group Lotus, and the man responsible for bringing the Esprit to life, tells us more than he should in the mag. Then Tom Ford launches the Evora GTE at threatening Norfolk skies, and Lotus CEO Dany Bahar answers tough questions about the future. You won’t get better access anywhere else.

But it’s not all completely serious. Because, as only Top Gear can, we then switch from the sublime to the ridiculous. From Norfolk to the Republic of Wadiya. When Supreme Leader Admiral General Aladeen called our friend Leonard Yankelovich demanding the delivery of his personal gold-plated Dartz Prombron to London, Leo called the only people in the UK he trusts to drive his cars. Us. What follows is a series of events more bizarre than anything any Hollywood scriptwriter could conjure up. Sam Philip finds himself pretending to be an IT systems analyst who’s pretending to be a Russian security guard while driving Admiral General Aladeen to a paparazzi-filled publicity stunt. And, yes, you did just read that sentence correctly.

Enjoy the issue.

Want more Lotus Evora GTE? Then have a look at our exclusive video below as it gets into the hands of our tame racing driver… 

And do you want more videos like this? Got an iPhone or an iPad? Then pop to the shops and get yourself a Top Gear Magazine. Then download the free TG Mag Extra app right here from the iTunes Store. Then point your smartphone at an image where you see the Stig logo and a video will load on your screen. Don't ask us how it works - it's probably magic. Or Stig-craft.

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