Production has been cut for the Lotus Emira and First Edition variants have been delayed, with global parts supply shortages to blame.
According to Lotus’ Australian website, the Emira V6 First Edition, which will be the first model to arrive Down Under, will now start arriving in the fourth quarter of 2022 – a delay of around six months.
It will be followed by a four-cylinder First Edition model, arriving from the third quarter of 2023. This was previously set to launch in the second quarter of 2023.
Lotus now also says entry-level Base Edition models will start arriving in Australia from the fourth quarter of 2023.
It hadn’t previously indicated when these entry-level Emira models would arrive locally.
Lotus Cars Australia recently sent out an email to Emira order holders, seen by CarExpert, saying that although production of Australian cars has now commenced, there will be fewer Emiras built in 2022 than originally planned.
The company now says Emira V6 First Edition production will run into 2023, which will have a knock-on effect for four-cylinder First Edition and Base Edition cars, which will now enter production in mid-2023.
It added that Emira V6 First Edition manual orders have been delayed by four months on average from the original build timing, with automatic orders delayed by around six months.
Pricing for the Lotus Emira starts at $155,990 before on-road costs for the Emira four-cylinder DCT, jumping to $169,990 before on-road costs for the base V6 manual, and $173,990 before on-roads for the V6 automatic.
The four-cylinder First Edition is priced at $177,990 before on-roads, and the Emira V6 First Edition is listed at $184,990 before on-roads.
On paper, the base four-cylinder goes head-to-head with the Porsche 718 Cayman S ($150,000 before on-roads), while the higher-end V6 aligns more closely with the 718 Cayman GTS ($186,200 before on-roads).
Demand for the Emira has been strong. Lotus says the First Edition V6 is sold out, and as early as March 70 per cent of the First Edition four-cylinder allocation had been spoken for.
The standard, Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine produces 298kW of power and 420Nm of torque with the six-speed manual, or 430Nm with the optional six-speed automatic.
Four-cylinder variants use a version of the Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre M139 turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 268kW.
It’s shared with the Mercedes-AMG A45, and is exclusively mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels.
The new Emira is built on the Lotus Sports Car Architecture announced earlier in 2021.
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.
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.
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.
Inside, 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.
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 bottles, 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.
MORE: Everything Lotus Emira