Say hello to the last Lotus with petrol power.
The Lotus Emira has been revealed with a choice of two engines, manual or automatic transmissions, and a starting price equivalent to $110,000 in Europe.
It’s set to arrive in Australia in July 2022, as part of the first production run. Lotus Australia has already taken three deposits, and is currently accepting expressions of interest.
Order books are expected to open formally in September.
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest from Lotus.
The new Emira is built on the Lotus Sports Car Architecture announced earlier in 2021.
It’s a lightweight bonded aluminium structure, wrapped in a body inspired by the all-electric Evija (with a hint of Maserati MC20 and McLaren Artura about it, too).
Measuring up at 4412mm long, 1895mm wide and 1225mm tall, with a 2575mm wheelbase, the Emira is 100mm shorter than a Porsche 911, but 43mm wider with a 35mm longer wheelbase.
Lotus is targeting a kerb weight of 1405kg in the car’s lightest form, around 30kg less than a Porsche 718 Cayman GTS with a dual-clutch transmission.
Rather than a more modern electric power steering system, the Emira uses a hydraulic steering system designed to deliver better feedback to the driver.
There are two suspension tunes on offer: Tour, designed for everyday road use, and Sports, which is fairly self-explanatory and is part of the Lotus Drivers Pack.
Two engines will be offered, one of which will be very familiar to Lotus buyers.
A 3.5-litre supercharged V6 will be offered with a choice of six-speed or automatic transmissions, alongside a 2.0-litre four-pot turbo from Mercedes-AMG, hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
UPDATE: Lotus has confirmed the V6 is a supercharged unit, not naturally-aspirated. Our coverage has been updated.
“The 2.0-litre is the world’s most powerful production in-line four-cylinder unit mated to AMG’s acclaimed DCT with paddle shifts and driving modes,” said Gavan Kershaw, director of vehicle attributes.
“It’s high-performance, hugely efficient thanks to cutting-edge technology, and delivers low emissions and linear performance,” he said.
“On top of all that, it’s been tuned in-house by the hugely experienced Hethel engineers to deliver that distinctive Lotus experience.”
Final outputs haven’t been confirmed, but Lotus quotes between 360 and 400hp (270 and 298kW) for the car, and a peak torque figure of 430Nm.
Flat out you’ll be doing 290km/h and, as you’d expect, it’ll do the 100km/h sprint in less than 4.5 seconds.
Not only is the Emira a sharp looker, the body is clever.
Lotus says it creates passive downforce that’s balanced over both axles, while that gaping air intake ahead of the rear wheel arch feeds cool air into the hungry mid-mounted engine.
There are no active aerodynamics, and no over-the-top spoilers here.
This is a strict two-seater, but Lotus has focused on making it a comfortable, practical space.
The driver’s seat is four-way power adjustable, and Lotus says the glasshouse has been designed to create good all-round visibility for daily driving.
The driver is faced with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, and there’s a 10.25-inch touchscreen on the dashboard for infotainment. Both are Lotus-exclusive systems, although the brand has confirmed Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will feature.
There’s 208L of space behind the seats, and a further 151L in a boot behind the engine.
Lotus says the doors will swallow 500ml door bins, and there’s USB and 12V connectivity. A 10-speaker sound system is available from British brand Uni-Q.
There are some classic Lotus touches – like the exposed linkage on manual-equipped cars, and the compact steering wheel.
Lotus will offer the Emira with a suite of adaptive driver aids.
Adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, driver fatigue monitoring, road sign information, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist will all be offered.
The car will also pack keyless entry and start, rain-sensing wipers, power folding mirrors, rear parking sensors (front are optional), auto-dimming rear-view mirror, curtain airbags, and launch control.
What do you think of the new Lotus Emira?