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All-new Lotus Emira

Game changing sports car for firms reinvention with AMG power

The Emira is Lotus’ all-new mid-engined premium sports car, with Mercedes-AMG power, striking design, thrilling ride and handling, outstanding aerodynamics and an unrivalled experience ‘For The Drivers’. It perfectly embodies the ongoing transformation of the Lotus business and brand. It features all the hallmarks that the automotive world has come to expect from a Lotus.

98 Lotus Emira 2021 reveal nose 

Building on the legacy of the Elise, Exige and Evora, the Emira, (pronounced ‘eh-meer-ah’) signifies a major leap forward for Lotus. Those instantly recognisable brand signatures and core values have been combined with a paradigm shift in levels of practicality, comfort, functionality and technology. Officially revealed ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Emira will sit in what Lotus believes is a gap in the market below the Porsche 718 Cayman, and will be priced from less than £60,000.

Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars commented: “The Emira is a game-changer for Lotus. It stands as a beacon of everything we have achieved to date in the transformation of the business, the embodiment of our progress. It is a highly significant milestone on our path to becoming a truly global performance car brand.”

97 Lotus Emira 2021 reveal side 

The Emira uses styling cues clearly developed from the Evija, the new series-production model has been developed on a new lightweight bonded aluminium chassis, technology pioneered by Lotus and which remains an fundamental part of the company’s sports car DNA.

First customer cars will start to be delivered around the world from next spring. Powering the Emira will be a choice of two petrol engines, at launch, the first cars will be available as limited-production ‘First Edition’ models powered by the 3.5-litre V6 as in the Exige and Evora. Then from summer 2022, the first new Lotus sports car engine for more than a decade makes its debut, with the Emira powered by AMG. The new-to-Lotus AMG unit is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘i4’ from the performance division of Mercedes-Benz.

Working with Lotus for the first time, AMG has come on board as technical partner on the Emira programme, with some intrinsic changes made to the in-line four-cylinder set-up for its Lotus debut. Transverse-mounted and delivering rear-wheel drive, the unit has been modified with a new air intake system and new exhaust to suit the character of the Emira. The second engine is more familiar, the 3.5-litre supercharged Toyota V6 that is much loved by drivers of the Exige and Evora. Cars will be available with a manual, automatic and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).

Across the Emira range, power output will between 360 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. The car has a target weight of 1,405kg in its lightest form, and prices will start at less than £60,000 (less than €72,000).

Key dimensions of the Emira are length 4,412mm; width 1,895mm; height 1,225mm; and wheelbase 2,575mm.

96 Lotus Emira 2021 reveal rear 

The Emira is the first all-new Lotus model to be produced under Vision80, the strategic plan which is directing the revolution of Lotus as it moves towards its 80th anniversary in 2028. Appropriately, the ‘Emira’ word features in numerous ancient languages and often translates as ‘commander’ or ‘leader’. Ideal then for this new exciting sports car leading Lotus’ last hurrah with internal combustion engines, before fully embracing electrification and a new era for the brand later in the decade

The Emira is the first Lotus sports car to carry the new design language first seen on the Evija hypercar. It’s a modern look with sculpted surfaces and technical detailing, delivering exotic supercar appeal in the sports car segment. The lineage is even more obvious on the prominent leading edge of the bonnet, shrink-wrapped cabin that’s tapered to the rear, sculpted doors and vents cut into the muscular rear haunches. The unique-in-class exit vents, integrated into the bonnet to guide airflow over the car and optimise aerodynamics, are also derived from the Evija.

Vertical all-LED headlamps are standard across the range, with a wing-inspired twin blade design also familiar from the Lotus hypercar. The bonnet houses the current iteration of the iconic Lotus roundel, its first appearance on a new Lotus sports car and slightly larger than on previous models.

Looking at the Emira in profile, the sculpted section set into the door feeds air flow towards the intake ahead of the rear wheel. This serves a dual purpose, providing air for the engine but also to cool it. The Emira name badge is visible from the side, integrated into the C-pillar. All wheels are 20-inches in diameter; as standard they will be fitted with a Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tyre, while a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 is a cost option available in conjunction with the Lotus Drivers Pack. Both tyres have been specially developed for the Emira by their manufacturer.

At the rear, the Lotus wordmark dominates the integrated bumper, above a body coloured panel that’s clearly inspired by the rear of the Evija. At each end is an exit vent for air from the wheel arch. Each corner has a flat C-shaped LED light cluster linked by a slimline high-level brake light. Below is a black section housing twin exhaust pipes either side of the number plate and with an air diffuser underneath to aid downforce.

The car will be offered with two defined chassis and suspension settings. Tour, which allows a softer ride for everyday road use, and Sports, which is available with the optional Lotus Drivers Pack and provides a slightly stiffer suspension set-up for enhanced dynamic capability and feel, launch control and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

95 Lotus Emira 2021 reveal headlights 

The interior of the Emira is aimed at putting the driver at the centre of the experience, with pure ergonomic design, wraparound dashboard which forms into the door trim makes the driver feel at one with the car, and instruments carefully placed for the most intuitive use. The Emira follows these principles to the letter to create a modern cockpit environment with the essential controls to hand and minimum distraction. Unique to the Emira is the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with metallic spoke detail and integrated controls. The interior features ambient and wraparound lighting as well as map lights. A raised gear shifter enhances that emotion. Access to the car’s infotainment system is via a 10.25-inch centrally mounted touch-screen, with an additional 12.3-inch TFT driver’s display behind the steering wheel. All content is exclusive to Lotus has been designed and developed by an in-house team. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are integrated as standard.

Also a high number of soft-trimmed surfaces, showcasing quality British craftsmanship that expresses ultimate sportiness. They blend perfectly with the modern technical finishes to create a first-class experience for the driver. There are details added in tribute to the sporting heritage of Lotus for Example the positioning of the manual gearstick, which resonates that of the iconic Esprit, and the semi-exposed gear linkage visible at the base of the centre console on V6 manual cars, as on the Elise and Exige. Adding to the sense of theatre is the protective red cover over the start/stop button.

The two seats have been designed to combine exceptional lateral support for high-speed cornering with total comfort for long distance journeys. There is four-way electric adjustment on the standard seat, with the option to upgrade to a premium sports seat with 12-way electric adjustment for both the driver and passenger. All seats are unique to the Emira. The dramatic supercar-like low stance of the car has been achieved while matching best-in-class ingress/egress and headroom.

Features available include keyless go, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, electric folding door mirrors, rear parking sensors (with front sensors as an option), auto-dimming rear view mirror, curtain airbags, launch control (as part of optional Lotus Drivers Pack), and a stolen vehicle tracker.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) available on the Emira include adaptive cruise control, anti-collision system, fatigue alert, road sign information, vehicle speed limiter, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist.

Also exclusive to Lotus is the availability of a 10-channel premium sound system from highly respected British brand KEF.

The Emira’s cabin storage has been superbly well thought out. It has twin central cup holders with a phone storage slot between them, and door bins that can accommodate a 500ml bottle. Practicality also comes from the glovebox, trinket tray ahead of the gearstick, armrest between the seats with USB and 12v ports, plus a console net for bottles or documents.

Luggage or other large items can be stored behind the two seats (208 litres) or in the boot to the rear of the engine. This space (151 litres) will take a standard-sized flight case or a set of golf clubs.

94 Lotus Emira 2021 reveal steering wheel 

Lotus sports cars have been made at Hethel since 1966. Production of the Emira will take place in all-new state-of-the-art factory, following more than £100million of UK investment by Lotus The Emira will remain ‘Handmade in Hethel’, supported by new processes and technologies that will enhance efficiency and build quality, a first for lotus is an all-new paint shop which features robotic application, that will improve quality, capacity and process repeatability. It includes many innovative technologies such as a combined primer and clearcoat line.

There is a new semi-automated body assembly system, with robots being used to apply adhesive. Vehicle bodies are transported around the main assembly area on Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). Emira production actually begins at Lotus Advanced Structures (LAS), an all-new facility in nearby Norwich where chassis fabrication and front-end assembly takes place. The launch of the Emira has created more than 200 new operations roles at Lotus. And the firm wants to produce up to 4800 Emira’s per year, which would represent a significant increase over the 1400-1600 Elise, Exige and Evora models it was previously selling.

82 Lotus Emira 2021 reveal static rear