Lotus Emira test: A magical sports car to say goodbye to the combustion engine
The Emira is the latest combustion engine car from the legendary English manufacturer, and everything has been done to make it a success. Given the thickness of the order book, the goal seems to have been achieved.
With a production capacity of 20 cars per day, the Hethel plant is running at full capacity to satisfy a clientele excited by this emira that turns heads. It must be said that after the pretty but austere Elise and Exige, the Emira wants to be more usable on a daily basis, with care for the interior, small practical details, without losing the essence of what makes a Lotus: the pleasure of driving.
Sporty but comfortable
The Emira is first and foremost a pure line, without an aerodynamic appendage, which seduces at first glance. The treatment of the cabin is also new for the brand, which offers several very neat trim levels, and is especially concerned with comfort: cup holder, storage spaces, digital instrumentation (2 screens of 10 and 12 inches), “keyless” system, cruise-control, rain sensor, electric retros, parking assistance … In short, enough to make the Emira very usable on a daily basis. Especially since seats and steering wheel are adjustable in height and depth, allowing everyone to find a very nice driving position. It changes from the simple “front-back” adjustment of the Elise’s seat!
But all this comfort at a price… Since its inception, Lotus’ major obsession has been weight. But with all this comfort, the Emira weighs between 1,405 and 1,435 kg at weigh, depending on the engine. That’s almost 300 kg more than an Alpine A110 (less powerful), and the same weight as a Porsche 718 GTS 4.0, the two main competitors. But so be it.
For the Emira, Lotus offers two engines: the 3.5-liter V6 turbo 400 hp of Toyota origin (engine of the Supra, already present on the Exige and evora), and the 4-cylinder 2-liter turbo 360 hp of Mercedes-AMG origin. You can also opt for a “Touring” chassis, and a “Sport”, more radical and indicated for those who regularly go to the circuit. It is a Touring version that we have taken in hand both on the road and on the circuit.
The first observation is the driving comfort of the car. On the often narrow and uneven roads of Norfolk, north-east of London, the Emira is docile and comfortable. The V6 is pleasant, very “civilian”, and its torque available from low revs makes it possible not to play too much of the gear lever. The “road feel” is typically Lotus, with a very precise front axle but which transmits all the information of the road to the driver, forcing the latter to frequent “mini” corrections at the wheel. But overall, we quickly start to consider a long trip for two without apprehension, as the Emira is easy to live.
On the circuit and when everything is in Sport mode, personality change. The engine is louder, the braking is powerful and enduring, and the Emira is formidable in efficiency. It is really necessary to rush the car so that the rear axle admits defeat and allows a slight drift. Nothing but fun!
The Lotus Emira V6 First Edition in a few figures
- Engine: V6, petrol, turbo, 3.456cc; 400ch; 420Nm
- Transmission: to the rear wheels
- Gearbox: manual 6-speed
- L/l/h (mm) : 4.412/1.895/1.225
- Empty weight (kg) : 1.435
- Trunk volume (l): N.C.
- Tank (l): N.C.
- 0 to 100 kph (sec.): 4.3
- Maximum speed (km/h): 288
- Conso. Mixed (l/100 km): N.C.
- CO2 (g/km) : 258
- Price (€) : +/-96.000
The Lotus Emira is currently offered in a “First Edition” version, priced at around €96,000. Other versions will arrive in 2023, from €75,000 to €80,000.
Lotus Emira History
The Lotus Emira is a sports car manufactured by British automobile manufacturer Lotus Cars. It is intended to be the firm’s final vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine.
The Emira was presented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 6 July 2021. It will replace the Evora, Exige and Elise. Following its debut, the Hethel-based company revealed the GT4 race car equivalent, which will make its track debut in 2022, replacing the older Evora GT4. Emira’s design bears several similarities to that of Lotus’ high-performance car Evija, which was presented in 2019.
It was confirmed that the new Emira will go on sale in March 2022 and will come with a 3.5 litre supercharged V6 sourced by Toyota. Power figures are 406 PS (299 kW; 400 hp) and 430 N⋅m (320 lb⋅ft) of torque. Available in either 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Later on, a smaller 2.0 litre turbocharged engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) will be made available for the new Emira, with 365 PS (268 kW; 360 hp).
Pricing was announced on 20 September 2021 starting at £59,995 for the base I4 and £75,995 including 20% VAT tax for the V6 First Edition. US pricing was announced on 1 October 2021 starting at $74,900 for the base I4 and $93,900 for the V6 First Edition. The V6 First Edition is expected to be available by spring 2022 with the I4 following in spring 2023. In 2022, the Emira made its debut in Malaysia with the First Edition being the variant on offer. It will be powered by the 3.5 litre supercharged V6.