Lotus’s first brand-new series-production model in more than a decade is a stunning mid-engined, two-seat sports coupé with supercar-aping looks, a high-quality interior and the option of four-cylinder turbo power supplied by Mercedes-AMG.
The Emira (pronounced ‘eh-meer-ah’), which made its official public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, will be priced from less than £60,000 and is pitched at what Lotus believes to be a gap in the market below higher-performance versions of the Porsche 718 Cayman.
It will go on sale in all key global markets next spring, initially powered by the Toyota-sourced supercharged 3.5-litre V6 from the outgoing Exige and Evora, before the 2.0-litre AMG unit follows in the summer.
The Emira will be Hethel’s final non-electrified car. It follows the limited-run Evija electric hypercar in this promising new era for Lotus under the majority ownership of Geely, which is funding not only new cars but also new facilities and manufacturing processes with the aim of products being built to a higher and more consistent quality.
Underpinning the Emira is Lotus’s new Sports Car Architecture, which was developed using the extruded and bonded aluminium chassis technology first used by Lotus on the Elise of 1996. The car is 4412mm long, 1985mm wide and 1225mm high, with a wheelbase of 2575mm, making it just a fraction larger than the Evora.
While the architecture is nominally a development of that older car’s, only the wheelbase remains the same. The tracks have been widened, larger 20in wheels can be fitted and the Emira has dramatically different proportions to the Evora.
The first deliveries will be special, higher-spec Launch Edition cars using the Toyota V6, which will be offered with a manual or automatic gearbox. The AMG four-pot (which became available through a new technical partnership between Lotus and AMG, born of Geely’s stakeholding in AMG parent firm Daimler) has been given its own tune for Lotus, along with a bespoke air intake and exhaust. It will come exclusively with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.