Emira is an all-new mid-engined premium sports car from Lotus that builds on the legacies of Elise, Exige and Evora. It is the first Lotus to be delivered under Vision80 – the brand’s strategic plan as it moves towards its 80th anniversary in 2028. It is also the first Lotus to have AMG as a technical partner.
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.”
Emira has been developed on a new lightweight bonded aluminium chassis, a technology pioneered by Lotus and which remains an intrinsic part of the company’s sports car DNA. Building on this architecture, Emira carries forward the new design language first showcased on the award-winning Evija. Overall, Emira sports a contemporary look with sculpted surfaces and technical detailing.
Russell Carr, the brand’s Design Director, says: “We always wanted close visual and philosophical harmony with the Evija. It was important that both products looked related to each other, but also performed technically in their own way given they are very different cars.”
The influence of the Lotus Evija is plain to see through the fluid surfaces and crisp feature lines. 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.
The biggest challenge on the Emira, says Carr, has been “finding the right balance of sportiness and sophistication from a visual perspective. It needed to look light, focused and agile without ever looking too aggressive or intimidating. It also needed to look premium without being too conservative.”
Lotus car interiors have always been about putting the driver at the very centre of the experience. Emira is no exception. The wraparound nature of the dashboard as it blends into the door trim creates a cossetted feeling. There are several soft-trimmed surfaces, along with ambient, wraparound and map lighting, that are designed to create a premium experience for the driver.
Emira debuts a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with metallic spoke detail and integrated controls. The raised gear shifter, along with the semi-exposed gear linkage visible at the base of the centre console on V6 manual cars – reminiscent of the Elise and Exige – add to the sense of occasion.
The car’s two seats have been designed to offer lateral support for high-speed cornering, and comfort for long-distance journeys. The standard seat comes with a four-way electric adjustment, while the optional premium sports seat has a 12-way electric adjustment.
Jon Statham, the man responsible for Emira’s Interior Design, commented: “I see the Emira as a big step forward on many levels. We’ve had a massive push on quality, technology, functionality, useability, desirability – it’s all there. It has a contemporary interior with good proportions. It isn’t too hardcore and will have broad appeal whilst still being ‘For The Drivers’.”
Emira owners will have a choice of two petrol engines. One is the 3.5-litre supercharged Toyota V6 that powers the Exige and Evora models. This engine will be available with the limited-production ‘First Edition’ models. Scheduled to make its debut on a Lotus next summer is AMG’s turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder ‘i4’ unit. It has been modified – including a new air intake system and exhaust – to suit the character of the Emira. This will be the first new Lotus sports car engine for more than a decade. Both engines will be available with a manual, automatic and Dual Clutch Transmission.
Across the Emira range, Lotus claims that power output will vary between 360 and 400bhp at launch, with 0-100kmph acceleration in less than 4.5 seconds. The reported top speed is 290kmph, and the maximum torque is 430Nm. The car has a target weight of 1,405kg in its lightest form.
Matt Windle adds: “The Lotus Emira is the most accomplished Lotus road car ever to roll through the Hethel factory gates. Beautifully proportioned with a stunning design inspired by the Evija all-electric hypercar, it’s the perfect package. The Emira is a junior supercar with all the thrills and head-turning characteristics found in the greatest Lotus cars, but at the same time is an everyday sports car that’s high on comfort and functionality, packed with the latest technology demanded by the discerning driver.”
Manufacturing will take place at Lotus’ home in Hethel, Norfolk, following more than £100million of new investment in the company’s UK facilities. First customer cars are scheduled to be delivered around the world from next spring.