After Lotus announced the end of production of the Elise, Exige and Evora models at the beginning of this year, the surprising premiere of a completely new sports car now follows. The Emira is likely to be the last vehicle with a pure combustion engine to make its debut from the factory in Hethel, UK. It will be based on the new aluminium sports car platform recently announced by Lotus. As has been customary at Lotus since 1996, it is made of bonded aluminium profiles at a new production facility in Norwich. The Emira is intended to combine the outstanding handling and performance of the outgoing models with unprecedented everyday practicality and a high level of comfort. Added to this is plenty of new technology. The sports car stretches to 4.41 meters in length, 1.90 meters in width, is 1.23 meters high and has a wheelbase of 2,575 millimeters. In its lightest version it has a kerb weight of 1,405 kilograms.
A choice of two engines and three transmissions
Lotus offers buyers a choice of two engines. Firstly, the 3.5-liter Toyota V6 supercharged engine, which fans already know from the Exige and Evora, is retained. It produces 400 hp in the Emira. As an alternative, a four-cylinder turbocharged engine purchased from Mercedes-AMG will be available from summer 2022. This will produce 360 hp from two liters of displacement. Compared with its original place of use in the A 45, CLA 45 and GLA 45, this engine receives some specific modifications for Lotus. These are necessary simply because there is a mid-engine installation position here with power transmission to the rear wheels. Mercedes-AMG not only acts as engine supplier, but also entered the Emira project as technology partner. On the transmission side, Lotus gives the customers almost complete freedom. In addition to a manual gearbox, both an automatic and a dual-clutch transmission are available as options. With the bigger engine, the Emira accelerates to 62 mph in under 4.5 seconds and up to 180 mph.
Visually close to the Evija
The design of the new Emira clearly borrows from the upcoming Evija electric supercar. This brand connection is particularly noticeable in the frontal view with the vertical LED headlights and the large air outlets. The latter are part of the Emira’s sophisticated aerodynamic concept. The airstream enters the front bumper, exits through the openings at the top and then reaches the side air intakes along the flanks. Standard 20-inch wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tires sit in the wheel arches. In the optional Drivers Pack, customers get Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires as an alternative. Both tire types have been developed with special compounds for the Emira. At the rear, the third brake light below the spoiler visually connects the two C-shaped LED taillights. Inside, meanwhile, inspiration was drawn from the legendary Esprit. A driver-oriented cockpit, high-quality materials and more storage space are provided.
Delivery from spring 2022
Lotus will not start deliveries of the new Emira until spring 2022. The price is expected to start at under € 72,000 or below £ 60,000, which clearly places the Emira as a competitor to the Porsche 718 Cayman. Its name can be found in many anchient languages and means something like “commander” or “leader”. More than £ 100 million have been invested into the production facilities in Hethel recently to bring them up to date. This will enable the highly skilled team on site to produce also the new Evija electric supercar next to the Emira in the near future. At the upcoming weekend, the Lotus Emira can be seen live for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Images: Lotus Cars