The new Emira is not only the first new Lotus that we’ve seen in a very long time, it also marks the end of an era as the last combustion-engined model that the British sports car maker will ever launch.
Lotus boss Matt Windle says the Emira is a game-changer for the company, and a significant milestone on the path to Lotus becoming a global performance car brand. The car was developed around a lightweight bonded aluminium chassis and Lotus is targeting a kerb weight of 1 405 kg for the lightest version of this car.
The Lotus Emira is expected to reach South Africa around the second quarter of 2022 and the order books are already open at Daytona Group in Melrose Arch. Pricing is estimated to be in the region of R2 million, but this is subject to change depending on the exchange rate.
While the familiar Toyota-sourced 3,5-litre V6 supercharged engine option will be carried over from the Evora, Lotus will also offer Mercedes-AMG’s 2-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol unit that powers the A 45 performance hatch. The AMG engine has been modified with new air intake and exhaust systems to suit the character of the Emira. Although the engine remains transversely mounted, power goes exclusively to the rear wheels because, well, this is a Lotus.
The carmaker has not provided exact power figures for the engines as yet, but says that they will offer between 268 kW and 298 kW. Lotus also mentions a 0-100 km/h sprint time of less than 4,5 seconds and a top speed of up to 290 km/h. The 2-litre engine is paired with AMG’s DCT transmission while the V6 is available with manual and auto gearboxes.
“The 2.0-litre is the world’s most powerful production in-line four-cylinder unit mated to AMG’s acclaimed DCT with paddleshifts and driving modes,” says Lotus Director of Vehicle Attributes Gavan Kerkshaw. “It’s high-performance, hugely efficient thanks to cutting-edge technology, and delivers low emissions and linear performance. On top of all that, it’s been tuned in-house by the hugely experienced Hethel engineers to deliver that distinctive Lotus experience.
“The Emira has a wider track than any recent Lotus road car, enhancing stability, delivering exceptional road-holding and the sensation of a very low centre of gravity. It is a true Lotus sports car that builds on the legacy of the Elise, Exige and Evora,” Kirkshaw added.
Two chassis settings are available, with Tour being tuned for everyday road use and Sport (available with the optional Drivers Pack) providing a slightly stiffer suspension set-up. Buyers can also look forward to good old fashioned hydraulic steering.
The cabin seats two occupants, as you’d expect, but it’s a lot more modern than the inner quarters that current Lotus owners are accustomed to, featuring a 10,5-inch central infotainment screen and digital instrumentation. Available features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, keyless go and 12-way electric adjustment for the seats.