As it flicks off the current Elise, Exige, and Evora into the abyss and prepares to replace them all with full electrification, Lotus has revealed its very last roll of the internal combustion dice; the Emira.
Showcased overnight for the first time, the end-of-an-era Emira is something of an Evora replacement. It rides on a new version of the same platform, measures in at almost the same size, and occupies a similar Jack-of-all-trades ethos. This isn’t some stripped out sportster like the Exige, built specifically for the purist. This is designed with a wider audience in mind.
This is most clear in the Emira’s cabin, which is up there with the most lavish ever seen in a Lotus. There’s a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a digital cluster, electric-adjustable seats, cruise control, and more.
If you told a Lotus die-hard that these would be standard features in a future model, they’d either laugh or commence a well-rehearsed 800-word debate about weight saving.
It’s not just through technology that Lotus has made the model easier to live with. The Emira is also halfway practical. It gets 208 litres of space behind the seats, door bins big enough to fit 500ml bottles of pop, and a 151 litre boot behind the engine that Lotus says can fit a pair of golf clubs.
Engines. Yes, plural. Two engines will be available for the Emira; the first a Mercedes-AMG sourced four-pot and the second a six-pack from Toyota.
The former is a 268kW turbofour thought to be the same as that from the AMG A 35, with Lotus having scored extra power from a new air intake and exhaust package. The latter engine is a 3.5-litre V6 that will be instantly familiar to Lotus faithful, having previously been available in the Exige and Evora. It develops 295kW of power.
Opt for the four cylinder and you’ll zoom to 100km/h in less than 4.5 seconds. Lotus hasn’t quoted a 0-100km/h time for the V6, but it’ll likely be quicker than the Evora’s 4.2-seconds. It does reference top speed, which is rated at 290km/h.
You’ll be able to get it with a manual transmission, too. Although, it’s exclusive to the V6. The base four banger comes only with a seven-speed dual clutch. The six, meanwhile, gets either a six-speed stick or a six-speed torque-converted auto.
In the looks department, the Emira looks like a baby version of the upcoming electric Evija hypercar, with similar recesses in the bonnet, similar headlights, and a similar (but shrunken) silhouette.
All that tech has given it a 1405kg curb weight; a far cry from the sub-1000kg totals of cars past but still respectable given the available power on hand. Lotus has given it hydraulic steering, which will be a feather in the model’s anorak cap.
As far as ICE swansongs go, this one’s a strong all-rounder. But, we can’t wait to see how Lotus tackles weight saving and balance in the age of big batteries and big tech.