REVEALED: Lotus unveils Emira mid-engined sports car
Inspired by the Evija electric hypercar, the Lotus Emira mid-engined sports car perfectly embodies the ongoing transformation of the British brand.
Its striking design delivers exotic supercar style and up to 400hp (298kW) of power at launch.
Set to hit the road in quarter two next year, with a choice of two petrol powerplants, including one from Lotus' new engine partner, Mercedes-AMG, the Emira will sprint to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds, and have a top speed of 290km/h.
It features all the hallmarks that the automotive world has come to expect from a Lotus – thrilling dynamic performance delivering best-in-class ride and handling, outstanding aerodynamics and an unrivalled experience ‘For The Drivers’.
Building on the legacy of the Elise, Exige and Evora, the Emira represents a quantum leap forward for Lotus. Those instantly recognisable brand signatures and core values have been combined with a paradigm shift in practicality, comfort, functionality and technology.
"The Emira is a game-changer for Lotus. It stands as a beacon of everything we have achieved to date in the transformation of the business, the embodiment of our progress," Lotus Cars managing director Matt Windle said.
"It is a highly significant milestone on our path to becoming a truly global performance car brand."
The Emira has been developed on a new lightweight bonded aluminium chassis, technology pioneered by Lotus and which remains an intrinsic part of the company’s sports car DNA.
That innovative vehicle architecture is wrapped with a bold and sculpted design using cues clearly developed from the Evija. Powering the Emira will be a choice of two petrol engines, both globally respected for their performance characteristics.
At launch, the first cars will be available as limited-production ‘First Edition’ models powered by the much-loved and Lotus-honed 3.5-litre V6 which cut its sports car teeth powering the Exige and Evora.
From mid-2022, the first new Lotus sports car engine for more than a decade makes its debut, with the Emira powered by AMG. The new-to-Lotus AMG unit is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘i4’ from the performance division of Mercedes-Benz.
Working with Lotus for the first time, AMG has come on board as technical partner on the Emira programme, with some fundamental changes made to the in-line four-cylinder set-up for its Lotus debut.
Transverse-mounted and delivering rear-wheel drive, the unit has been modified with a new air intake system and new exhaust to suit the character of the Emira. The second engine is more familiar, in the form the 3.5-litre supercharged Toyota V6.
Cars will be available with a manual, automatic and dual clutch transmission (DCT). The AMG powerplant is expected to develop 360hp (268kW). Maximum torque across the range is 430Nm, with a kerb weight of 1,405kg in its lightest form.
Manufacturing will take place at Lotus’ famous home in Hethel, Norfolk, following more than $184 million investment into the company’s UK facilities. The highly skilled operations teams will be supported by new processes and technologies.
"The Lotus Emira is the most accomplished Lotus road car ever to roll through the Hethel factory gates. Beautifully proportioned with a stunning design inspired by the Evija all-electric hypercar, it’s the perfect package," Windle said.
"The Emira is a junior supercar with all the thrills and head-turning characteristics found in the greatest Lotus cars, but at the same time is an everyday sports car that’s high on comfort and functionality, packed with the latest technology demanded by the discerning driver."
That technology includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen, integrated satellite navigation (where available), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a KEF Uni-Q premium audio system, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a host of safety and driver assist features.
These include keyless-go, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, electric folding door mirrors, powered seats, an anti-collision system, fatigue alert, road sign recognition, lane departure warning, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.
Lotus retailers are now taking deposits for the Emira, with the ground-breaking car to make its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend (8-11 July).
While Australian pricing and final specs are yet to be confirmed, it is expected to be available in Hethel Yellow, Shadow Grey, Magma Red, Nimbus Grey, Dark Verdant and the launch finish of Seneca Blue.
Seven interior colours are available, including Black Nappa leather, Red Nappa leather, Grey Nappa leather, Tan Nappa leather, Black Alcantara with grey stitch, Black Alcantara with red stitch and Black Alcantara with yellow stitch.
There are five wheel choices (cast 10-spoke, gloss black 10-spoke, silver forged V-spoke, gloss black forged V-spoke, and diamond cut forged V-spoke) and with four brake calliper colours – black, red, yellow and silver.
A digital visualiser showcasing the car’s striking design is live at www.lotuscars.com
It's expected to be priced at around £60,000 in the UK. Australian pricing is not yet known. This story first published on Exhaust Notes Australia.