It features all the hallmarks that the automotive world has come to expect from a Lotus – striking design, thrilling dynamic performance delivering best-in-class ride and handling, outstanding aerodynamics and an unrivalled experience ‘For The Drivers’.
Building on the legacy of the Elise, Exige and Evora, the Emira represents a quantum 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.
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.”
The Emira has been developed on a new lightweight bonded aluminium chassis, technology pioneered by Lotus and which remains an intrinsic part of the company’s sports car DNA. That innovative vehicle architecture is wrapped with a bold and sculpted design using cues clearly developed from the Evija. Key dimensions of the Emira are length 4,412mm; width 1,895mm; height 1,225mm; and wheelbase 2,575mm.
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, both globally respected for their performance characteristics. At launch, the first cars will be available as limited-production ‘First Edition’ models powered by the much-loved and Lotus-honed 3.5-litre V6 which cut its sports car teeth powering the Exige and Evora.
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 fundamental 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 so 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).
The Emira is the first Lotus sports car to carry the new design language first showcased on the award-winning Evija hypercar. It’s a contemporary look with sculpted surfaces and technical detailing, delivering exotic supercar appeal in the sports car segment. A new and more premium approach for Lotus in terms of forms and materials, it is also a leap forward in fit and finish.
Led by Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus, the creative team has succeeded in designing something beautiful, timeless, memorable, modern and that looks like a Lotus. Its optimised proportions and athletic shrink-wrapped body visually describe Lotus’ legendary agile driving characteristics.
Russell commented: “The Emira captures the visual drama of an exotic supercar, with great proportions, wide footprint and a cabin that sits low down between muscular haunches. Add in that it’s practical enough to be useable every day, of the highest quality and accessibly priced, and it’s undoubtedly a compelling and seductive alternative to the existing sports car competition. The Emira is re-introducing our brand to a new global audience while still offering all the thrills to engage the most ardent driving enthusiast.”
The influence of the Lotus Evija is plain to see through the fluid surfaces and crisp feature lines. 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 cut into the door leads 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.
Efficient aerodynamics has been at the heart of the Lotus brand since the company was founded in 1948. It is a philosophy inextricably linked to delivering outstanding performance whether a car is on the road or race track. Simplicity is at the core of the Emira – there are no active aerodynamics as clever engineering means they’re not needed. It is the only model in its class to create passive downforce that’s precisely balanced between the front and rear axles at all speeds, perfectly tuned to the weight distribution and suspension geometry of the car. It means as downforce increases with speed, generating exceptional grip through corners, the handling characteristics remain constant, precise and predictable.
The Emira is built on the recently announced new Lotus Sports Car Architecture. It uses the same pioneering Lotus bonded extruded aluminium chassis technology which debuted on the Elise. However, for the Emira, every dimension is different to any previous Lotus chassis and it is fabricated in an all-new facility – Lotus Advanced Structures – in Norwich, just a few miles from Hethel.
The car has two defined chassis and suspension settings. Tour is tuned for everyday road use, delivering the optimum blend of Lotus dynamic performance and handling with a more comfortable ride. Sports is available with the optional Lotus Drivers Pack and provides a slightly stiffer suspension set-up for enhanced dynamic capability and feel. Hydraulic steering provides excellent feedback for the driver.
Two petrol engines are available, a Lotus-engineered 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit from technical partner AMG, and the much-loved and characterful 3.5-litre V6 from the Exige and Evora. Each is calibrated by Lotus to provide a unique and distinctive character for maximum driver engagement.
Lotus car interiors have always been famed for putting the driver at the very centre of the experience, with pure ergonomic design 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.
What’s new about this next-generation Lotus sports car is immediately obvious – the huge step-change across all aspects of the cabin, from the contemporary design and quality of materials to the increase in storage space, exceptional fit and finish, attention to detail and abundant advanced technology now integrated.
The wraparound nature of the dashboard as it blends into the door trim creates a cossetted feeling that makes the driver feel at one with the car. The raised gear shifter only enhances that emotion. There are a high number of soft-trimmed surfaces, showcasing premium British craftsmanship that conveys ultimate sportiness. They blend perfectly with modern technical finishes to create a premium experience for the driver – ‘technology with soul’ – and there are details added in tribute to the heritage and sporting success of Lotus. Examples include the positioning of the gearstick on manual cars, which echoes 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.
Also 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.
Features available on the Emira 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.