My Thoughts on the Emira
A little discussion about the Most important Lotus of the decade
When lotus announced the Elise, Exige and Evora were going, I was gutted. Three off the best sports cars and pretty much all of Lotus' catalogue for the 21st century were coming to an end, When I heard that their replacement was going to be the last ICE car lotus will ever make I held my breath, because this was the last chance for lotus to leave its legacy. Even with the immense history lotus could have very easily left its ICE mark on the world as a negative one. So, what did I think when I saw the Emira? Well, let me tell you...
What I have seen
My information on the Emira is limited, The videos I have seen of it has been from the Top Gear and the Auto Trader YouTube channel and JayEmm, as well as the website. All of them have brought up so good points that have definitely had some influence on my opinions. Obviously I have some of my own opinions too, So lets get into it.
If there is one thing that we can be sure about the new car, it is the fact that it is a looker. The car would not look out of place with a £150,000 price tag, yet sitting at £60,000 this think beats out both the Alpine A110 and the all important Cayman out of the water. The design is functional too, The front is not openable so those massive vents can channel airflow, the rear quarters have supercar side vent, the rear having thin LED lights. Two massive exhausts flank the number plate making for an aggressive rear diffuser. The rest of the body shrink-wraps around the cabin and engine to make a natural design flow. At £the price this blows anything else for the money out of the water.
The interior of prior lotus were always reflective of Colin Chapmans infamous quote "Simplify and add lightness", and were stripped out baron interiors. This was perfect for the Exige and Elise, reflecting the point of those cars perfectly. However the Evora was not a car designed for this, and so although Lotus tried to make a comfortable interior it never held up to the standard the Cayman had, with ford switches and buttons as well as a standard Alpine 7 inch head unit that looks more in place in some a 17 year old's VW Golf then a grand touring sports sportscar. However in the Emira this is not the case with contemporary integrated screens that look right in the car, A Lamborghini style starting switch and a KEF audio system. You can already tell that the Emira going to be more luxurious then the out going car, but what about that all important Quote, eh?
The Emira has gained some Kilos over the Evora, the lightest Evora weighing over 100 less then the Lightest Emira. This does make sense considering the interior is more luxurious. One thing Jay Emm brings up is the fact that the Emira is probably just a revised Evora, the same wheel base, similar length, similar body shape, a shared engine option and a little extra weight. Is this a bad thing? well Autocar says the Evora is "the finest-handling car on sale today", so I don't think that the Emira will be a bad drive.
The old Toyota powerplant will see the ICE out of Lotus' doors, however it is joined by an entry level 2 liter turbo from AMG. This is the engine out of the A45 and is mounted to the DCT found in the car. The Toyota engine probably makes 400hp in this variation, and will come with a 6 speed manual. I do think its disappointing you can't get the purist version, the lightweight engine with a manual, and equally the most powerful car won't be the absolute fastest it can be, only offering a tradition auto rather than a DCT. Having said that I don't think the engines have any glaring issues, the 3.5 has been proven in lotus cars before, and I don't doubt that the 2.0 will deliver what it needs too.
I am going to be honest I forgot I was writing this and therefore it is quite late to the party. However everything I said still stands. I think lotus can fight the Cayman as long as this new car drives like the old Evora, and is built well. The car will not be why the lotus legacy fails, it is going to be dealerships. Porsche have a huge dealer network, and so can do more advertising and deliver a faster and better service. Lotus needs to spin up some dealerships and emphasize a seamless servicing and warranty experience. Make it so people who newly buy a lotus don't get disappointed, and when the lease is up replace it with a Cayman. They need to not leave the door open for poor quality and ownership horror stories because that will be the end of lotus. The new facility gives me hope though, they have a new opportunity to get the quality control right and make the cars properly.
Thank you for reading.