Hold on, hold on, hold on! Before we get carried away, the all-new Lotus Emira does not offer McLaren GT levels of performance. The Lotus Emira’s job is to sweep away the cobwebs that have built up after many years of neglect. Despite years of diminishing returns Lotus has still managed to give the motoring world the Elise, Exige, and Evora. Flawed as they may be, they were fantastic drivers’ cars, no question. But time has moved on and Lotus is finally able to move along with the times courtesy of major investment from China in the shape of Geely Motors. And the Emira is the fruition, the beginning of a new era. Finally, Lotus engineering expertise can shine and be on full display in the next generation of road cars.
But that generation begins with a Toyota sourced supercharged 400bhp plus V6 engine, for first edition cars. From Summer 2022 Lotus will opt to use a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine sourced from AMG. Power output will between 360bhp and 400bhp at launch, with 0-62mph (0-100km/h) acceleration in less than 4.5 seconds and top speeds of up to 180mph (290km/h). Maximum torque will be 430Nm and CO2 emissions will start below 180g/km. Customers will have the option of choosing either a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission and, somewhat, unfortunately, a 6-speed manual.
The Emira’s exterior design language leans heavily on the Lotus Evija. As a result, it has head-turning drama for sure, it looks more like a £200K car. The interior is a clean modern and fully digitally enabled environment. Lotus says that interior fit and finish quality has improved immeasurably over past efforts. Past efforts were not as bad as people/reviewers have made it out to be. With Prices starting from £60,000, the many believe Lotus Emira is a replacement for the Evora. Lotus says otherwise, they look upon the Emira as a clean break, from the ground up. The current asking price for the aging Evora is £85K.
So the Emira is better built, has better technology at a cheaper price than the Evora. Although it will use good-old fashion hydraulic steering for a natural steering feel. That being said, the very best electronic steering systems are now the master of their hydraulic ancestors. Nevertheless, the Emira is a bargain, as long as you have a spare £60K lying around. And there are plenty of YouTubers who do. But in terms of performance, the Emira is nowhere near the levels offered by a McLaren GT. At 1,405kg the Emira is 125kg lighter than the McLaren GT which could offer small performance gains.
But in terms of handling and ride performance, the Emira will easily match the V8-twin turbo, 612bhp, £162K McLaren GT. Eventually, Lotus will transition to hybrids and electric powertrains. We’re not too sure if the future Emira product roadmap is destined for either. For now, it’s full-on combustion engine smoking, for a limited time period only.