The all-new Lotus Emira has just been unveiled, and it’s the British sports car manufacturer’s first all-new model in more than 10 years. This sports car will be the first wave of new Lotuses as the company announced the discontinuation of the Elise, Exige, and Evora. Unfortunately, the Emira will also be the final Lotus to be produced with an internal combustion engine as the company moves to an all-electric future starting with the Evija hypercar.
Speaking of that engine, Lotus has always used the Toyota V6 engine from the Camry, with the British automaker modifying and fitting it with a supercharger. That’s still the case with the Emira, and in this case now produces 395 hp and 430 Nm of torque, making it more powerful than any Lotus before that’s fitted with this engine. With this engine, the Emira’s top speed is at 290 kph, and though 0-100 kph times have not been announced yet, it’s safe to say it will be faster than the 4.2 seconds achieved by the Evora GT410. A 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic are your transmission options for this engine.
You have another engine option for the Emira too. Apart from the Toyota V6 engine, Lotus has also formed a technical partnership with Mercedes-AMG, which will see the German luxury automaker’s high-performance 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 gasoline engine powering the Emira. We still do not know if this will be the engine from the A 35 or A 45 high-performance hot hatches, but we do know Lotus will make performance enhancements to this engine in order for it to produces 365 hp. This engine is mated to Mercedes-AMG’s 7-speed dual-clutch automatic only.
Traditionally, Lotus is known for lightweight sports cars. Its founder Colin Chapman’s famous line is Simplify, then add lightness”. The Lotus Emira, however, also represents a shift in technology, luxury, and refinement for the British sports car company. As a result, the Emira is almost twice the weight of the original Elise at 1,405 kg, but this is mainly due to the Emira now complying to global crash safety regulations and tastes. Still, its weight by modern sports car standards is still competitive.
An optional Lotus Drivers Pack will also be offered, which adds a stiffer suspension, grippier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, launch control, among other features.
The all-new Emira’s fiberglass design is inspired by the Evija electric hypercar, with its sleek lines, curvaceous body, and cut lines on the hood that mimic the Evija’s. It looks properly gorgeous from every angle, and it represents a new era for Lotus’s upcoming sports cars. Underpinning this modern and sleek body is an all-new platform that in traditional Lotus fashion, is bonded and riveted aluminum. It’s also much longer than the Elise and is more in line with the Porsche 911 in terms of dimensions.
While most car companies nowadays have switched to electric power steering due to them being more efficient to the powertrain, the Lotus Emira still uses a hydraulic-assisted power steering. In a day and age where steering wheels are slowly starting to feel numb as a result, Lotus’ decision to stick with a hydraulic rack is welcome news.
Whereas past Lotus models have almost no amenities in the pursuit of lightness, the Emira is genuinely luxurious, modern, and has a level of craftsmanship never before seen in any Lotus before it. Instead of the 2DIN aftermarket touch screen found in the Evora, the Emira has a thoroughly modern 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also a fully digital gauge cluster, the first-ever electric seats fitted in a Lotus, smart entry with push-button start, rain-sensing wipers, among other features.
The Lotus Emira will even come with a plethora of advanced driver-assist systems as an optional extra, ranging from radar-guided cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, basically features you would not expect Lotus to add in the pursuit of making their sports cars light. Of course with these added creature comforts, expect the Lotus Emira to weigh much more than its base 1,405 kg weight.
The all-new Lotus Emira is expected to go on sale in early 2022 in Europe, while a Philippine launch via its distributor Autohub Group could happen in late 2022.