Currently reading: Four-cylinder Lotus Emira arrives with 360bhp for £81,495
AMG-powered version of sports car makes public debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

The entry-level four-cylinder variant of the Lotus Emira has been unviled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with prices set to start at £81,495.

It features the turbocharged M139 engine from Mercedes-AMG, the world’s most powerful four-pot and used in the AMG A45, C63 S E Performance and the SL 43, among others.

However, this engine has received “fundamental changes” for the Emira, including a new intake and exhaust, which reduces power outputs from the 382bhp and 354lb ft of entry-level AMG cars to 360bhp and 317lb ft.

An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is fitted to the AMG unit as standard.

In First Edition trim, the AMG-engined Emira is £77,795 – £4500 cheaper than one fitted with the supercharged Toyota V6. 

For reference, the Japanese engine – which previously featured in the Lotus Evora and Lotus Exige – produces 400bhp and 310lb ft and can, crucially, be optioned with a manual gearbox.

Lotus Emira V6 First Edition 2022 UK first drive

Lotus emira front quarter tracking

Deliveries of the four-pot Emira are expected to begin in the autumn and a significantly cheaper trim level – originally pitched at £59,995 but expected to cost more on arrival – will go on sale before the end of the year.

The Emira will be Lotus’s final combustion-engined series-production sports car. All new models will adopt battery-electric powertrains sourced from Lotus's Geely group parent company.

The brand is set to radically expand its EV line-up over the next few years, launching a saloon based on the new Eletre in 2024. A high-volume rival to the Porsche Macan EV is scheduled to arrive by 2028 and is expected to contribute roughly 75,000 sales a year to Lotus's overall output.

Such cars will be engineered at Lotus’s new factory in Wuhan, China. However, purist sports cars in the mould of the Emira, Evora and Elise will continue to be made in Hethel, Norfolk.

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Hethel’s first electric car will be the Type 135, which – despite the collapse of Lotus’s collaboration with Alpine – will arrive in 2026. It will be built around the dedicated Project LEVA (Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture), which places batteries in a Lotus-typical mid-’engine’ layout.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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sadjad_ahmadi 14 July 2023

Will have the red one!  looks like a mini ferrari

russ13b 10 July 2023

Why have they given it less poke than in a regular AMG?

Peter Cavellini 10 July 2023
russ13b wrote:

Why have they given it less poke than in a regular AMG?

The Lotus will probably have similar performance because hopefully the Lotus will be lighter,besides it's not how fast, it's how it handles will matter more and it's not too pricey either, ok the launch edition is, my only gripe is it doesn't look like a Lotus, more Toyota.

martin_66 13 July 2023

Exactly!  It's not about power or performance figures with Lotus, it is how the thing drives.  And with that much power combined with a turbocharged engine, this car is not going to be slow.

gagaga 10 July 2023

1. To be slower than the V6 until that is discontinued

2. To dive under a CO2 barrier for those running as company cars, think gateway drug into the electric replacement that will be a lot more expensive.