1. It’s gorgeous – and a proper Lotus
Lotus is changing. Under new management and with healthy funding from majority shareholders Geely (a group that also includes Volvo), the Norfolk maker is on a roll – and to celebrate it has unveiled the Emira, its first all-new sports car in decades.
As the firm embraces electrification, the new car will be the last new Lotus with a petrol engine. As such, the Emira represents both the end of the company’s first chapter and a bold statement of intent for its exciting new future, one that’ll also see it create electric sports cars and crossovers.
Designed by Lotus stalwart Russell Carr, the Emira is a beautiful machine. Low, wide and perfectly proportioned, with big wheels for a Lotus, it uses the same design language as the stunning Evija electric hypercar.
2. It’s a junior supercar
It’s not just the design that evokes far more powerful supercars costing far more money – on paper the Emira’s a mouth-watering proposition. It uses an all-new aluminium platform, features tactile hydraulic steering and top-spec cars will use a supercharged 3.5-litre V6. It’s a stonking engine – 400bhp, 0-62mph in less than 4.5sec, and a top speed in excess of 180mph.
This being a Lotus, low weight is key. At 1405kg the Emira is no featherweight (Alpine’s A110 is 300-400kg lighter) but it’s an impressive figure given how luxurious and well-equipped the car is. Buyers will be able to choose between Tour and Sport suspension set-ups, and a more track-orientated, hardcore version of the Emira is on the way.
Pricing is set to start from under £60k.
3. It won’t be uncomfortable, smell of glue or have a terrible stereo…
By its own admission, some of the cars Lotus has offered in recent years have been too niche in their appeal, and with too many barriers to ownership for anyone other than trackday addicts. They’ve also asked you forgive some issues and a relative lack of equipment.
But Geely cash and new management has changed that. £100m has been invested in production facilities, and the revamped site boasts the most modern paint shop in car-making and the kind of R&D tools (simulators, virtual reality equipment and rapid prototyping machines) that Lotus engineers and designers could only dream of just five years ago.
As well as new expertise and facilities, the Geely relationship also brings access to cutting-edge tech. inside, the Emira gets twin TFT displays and a raft of optional assistance tech, including lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. It has also been optimised for daily use, with cupholders, low cabin noise, easy access, good luggage capacity and easy connectivity
4. More engines will come – great engines, too
As well as the V6, Emira buyers will be offered a four-cylinder engine – and what an engine it is.
Rather than use something easy from within the Geely group, a Volvo unit perhaps, the Lotus team drew up a wish-list. Top of that list was AMG, and MD Matt Windle duly went to Germany to broker the deal. Merc’s performance arm makes a very potent 2.0-litre turbo four, as used in the A45 hot hatch, and the punchy motor with its snappy twin-clutch gearbox should be a revelation in the Emira.
5. You won’t have to wait long
Orders are being taken now, with first deliveries early 2022. What are you waiting for?
Lotus Emira: From under £60k, 396bhp supercharged V6, less than 4.5sec 0-62mph, 180mph+