Though it was due for a June launch in Europe, the first 2010 Lotus Evora customer has picked up his car today in the UK. The first car to go into customer hands is a Storm Titanium  model - just like the one featured in dozens of official photos of the car.

The Evora is Lotus's latest model and an attempt to meld its love of lightweight design, minimalist styling and thoroughly capable handling with a car that's roomy and comfortable enough for longer trips - a GT car, in short. Most who've tested the car agree that it's a success.

Already many dealers around the world have received demonstrator units, but until now no customers have been able to take delivery. That's all about to change, however, with Lotus having built up a 5-month supply of the car.

In fact, the Evora is in such demand that Lotus has hired 150 new manufacturing employees as they continue to ramp up operations at the Norfolk plant to their maximum output, which they plan to reach by November.

“It is quite an emotional time to deliver the first Lotus Evora to Mr. Melling. The whole team has worked incredibly hard to design, engineer and produce such a stunning and high performing sportscar and it is a great feeling to hand over the keys to the first customer today," said Luke Bennett, director of Lotus Cars.

In July, Mike Kimberley resigned from his position as CEO of Lotus Cars, and though no replacement has yet been found, rumors are beginning to spread that Dany Bahar recently of Ferrari may be tapped to fill the spot.

With a 276-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine supplied by Toyota and 0-60 mph times of about 5 seconds, the car is certainly up to the statistical standards. Fuel efficiency is equally impressive, ticking over at 27 mpg on average.

[Lotus]