LOTUS EMIRALotus revives the heat engine
Before the British sports car manufacturer becomes a full-fledged electric brand, it is offering one last time with an old-school model in the form of the Emira. And what a model!
Thanks to financial contribution from Chinese giant Geely, British sports car maker Lotus is doing well again. Before the British start building more than just electric sports cars, the automaker is launching the Emira today, a thermally powered sports car that is set to inherit both the Elise and Evora. Swiss prices are not yet known, but should be around 100,000 francs, as a look at Germany suggests, where prices initially start at 96,000 euros for the richly equipped “First Edition”, but later well below 90,000 euros for a less well equipped one should fall vehicle with smaller engine.
Even at first glance, the 4.41 meter long and 1.22 meter high two-seater throws significantly more than its competitors, the Porsche Cayman or the Toyota Supra. Designed with the same fast lines as the Eviya electric hypercar, the Emira commands more attention in the left lane than any other showoff. This is the image of a supercar in the sports car category.
Mid-engine lightweight barquette
Based on an all-new platform, the Emira features the classic sports car layout with a front engine, rear-wheel drive and a gearbox in between, which in this case is manual. Since the Emira, like all Lotuss, has to be lightweight and only weighs 1400 kg, it is very manoeuvrable. 400 hp and 420 Nm of torque are enough to sprint the 3.5-liter V6 supercharged engine from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and to reach a top speed of 290 km/h. And the significantly lighter four-cylinder AMG announced for 2023 is hardly less lively with its 365 hp. Most importantly, the engine is enough to get your heart racing just by pressing the start button hidden under a flap and only slowly fading away as you drive off, while the last look is at the back and at the engine under glass while the top is air vibrates and in the ears, and under it the muffler or brake crackles as it cools.
Otherwise, the Emira is pure emotion. Yes, you can also drive the coupé on the autobahn or, like a GT, lead it on a leash on wide country roads. But the new Lotus has other strengths. In Sport mode, the steering is precise and direct, the chassis is firm, the brakes are snappy and the neck resembles a barrel organ that has it in the stomach. So the Emira swallows curve after curve, storms the speed bumps and turns straight ahead. We don’t even think about quitting, instead bringing it back onto the track in Track mode with even more precision and enthusiasm in the corners.
Light, uncompromising and speed-hungry – while in many ways following the classic Lotus virtues, the Emira surprises with some unusual and otherwise obvious novelties, notably its 151-litre trunk, located behind the engine central unit, and its 208-litre storage space behind the seats, but also thanks to the ideal compartment for accommodating drinks at door height. While radio was optional in the first Elise 25 years ago, the British now offer digital instrumentation with a touchscreen infotainment system and convenience features such as a keyless entry system. Lotus even added adaptive cruise control. Above all, the significantly larger doors now allow you to get in with dignity without having to twist yourself.
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