New Lotus Emira Is The Brand's Farewell To Combustion Cars, Featuring AMG A35 And Toyota V6 Engines

by AutoExpert   |  7 July, 2021

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Lotus said earlier this year that Elise, Exige, and Evora would be phased out in favor of a variety of hybrid and fully electric sports cars and crossovers.

But before the EVs come, there's just enough time for one last Lotus ICE adventure. Emira, which is expected to cost less than £60,000 ($84,500), is the obvious successor to Evora and will compete with cars like Porsche 718 Cayman when it launches in Europe in spring 2022 and the United States at the end of that year.

Lotus Emira sits on a revised version of the company's bonded and riveted aluminum chassis, which has been used since the introduction of Elise in 1996. It's also nearly identical in size to Evora, with the same 101.4-inch (2575mm) wheelbase and an extra 0.8-inch (20mm) between the front and rear bumpers.

For the first time, an AMG engine was used

The new Lotus represents a "paradigm shift" in terms of practicality, comfort, utility, and technology, according to the company. A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four from Mercedes-AMG is one of the major drivers in this move.

Although Lotus hasn't declared it, we believe this engine is based on the Mercedes-AMG A35, which produces 302-hp. However, fundamental modifications, such as a new air intake system and exhaust, help boost output to roughly 360-hp. Lotus hasn't specified a torque figure, although it should be higher than the A35's 295 lb-ft.

Whether you like it or not, the inline-four drives the rear wheels through AMG's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which will get you to 62mph in "less than" 4.5 seconds.

For Japanese power fans, there's also a Toyota V6

If you insist on rowing your own gears, the 2.0-liter car's 3.5-liter V6 big brother will cost you at least a few thousand dollars more (official prices TBC). This is effectively the same Toyota-developed supercharged V6 that has previously been offered in Exige and Evora. Lotus claims it will produce 395 hp (400 ps) and 317 lb-ft with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, making it both less powerful and torquier than the previous Evora GT410.

While acceleration info for V6 hasn't been disclosed, they're expected to be close to the Evora's 4.2 seconds to 62 mph (100 km/h).

Emira is definitely inspired by Lotus's planned Evija electric hypercar, whose name, according to Lotus, means "leader" in some unspecified ancient language. Both air intakes in the rear quarter panels ahead of the rear wheels, as well as the dual vents on the back panel below the taillights, recall the look of the 1973 hp Lotus halo car.

An eye-catching interior

The inside of Emira, meanwhile, is possibly the most stunning feature. Not because it's particularly revolutionary, but because even without going inside, you can see that quality has improved significantly. Instead of Evora's aftermarket double DIN head unit, a modern 10.25-inch touchscreen media system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay has been installed. A second, much larger digital display is positioned underneath the flat-bottomed steering wheel to support it.

Of course, if you go crazy with the option ticks, you'll end up with a curb weight of 3,098 lbs (1,405 kg). The Lotus Drivers Pack, which incorporates stiffer suspension and grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (together with launch control) to keep Emira neat through the turns, is a must-have in that situation.

Lotus, like McLaren, has opted for hydraulic steering, which the company argues provides more feedback to the driver than electric steering. Emira also boasts a wider track than any contemporary Lotus road car, according to the company.

However, to promote Emira as a car that can handle the everyday grind rather than just a weekend pleasure, Lotus has made sure there's plenty of room for people and their belongings. The door bins can hold a 500 mL soda bottle, there's 7.3 cu-ft (208 liters) of space behind the seats, and Lotus claims the 5.3 cu-ft (151 liters) trunk behind the engine can fit a flight case or a set of golf clubs.

Customers will receive their cars in a year, but dealers are receiving deposits now if you like what you see. Would you choose a Lotus Emira over a Porsche 718 Cayman, and how do you feel about AMG's turbo four-cylinder engine? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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