Lotus Emira debuts as an affordable Evija for everyone


She can be had with either a Japanese or a German heart. And yes, a manual is confirmed too.

“An affordable Evija for everyone?!” Well, not exactly, but you’ll probably get a “close enough” experience. The reason I say that is because the name Emira (pronounced Eh-meer-ah) is derived from a familiar term in the Arab world, which translates to a “ruler” or “commander” or “leader” — a feminine form to be specific. While the Evija was conceived for such actual Emirs and Emiras, the Emira is for the “prince” and “princess” you might find next door or on the lower or upper floor of your apartment building. Which is why it has a starting price of less than £60,000 (US$ 82,778 or INR 61.81 lakh) in the UK and less than €72,000 for the rest of Europe.

The Emira succeeds the Elise, Exige and Evora models. If you remember, Lotus bid goodbye to those models earlier this year with Final Editions.

The Emira borrows most of its styling cues and aerodynamic elements such as intakes and outlets from the Evija; maybe not completely open/hollow like in the Evija, but you know, close enough. There are no active aerodynamic elements either, as according to Lotus, the design is pretty clever and they’re not needed. The Emira is only slightly smaller and taller compared to the Evija, measuring 4,412 mm long (-47 mm), 1,895 mm wide (-105 mm) and 1,225 mm tall (+103 mm). Lotus is yet to disclose the Evija’s wheelbase, but the Emira’s wheelbase measures 2,575 mm.

The Emira is built on a tweaked version of Elise‘s bonded aluminium chassis. The car offers two pre-defined chassis and suspension settings: the standard ‘Tour’ setting is for everyday road use, delivering a blend of performance and comfort, while the ‘Sports’ setting — part of the optional Lotus Drivers Pack, offers a slightly stiffer suspension setup. The steering is hydraulic, which should offer excellent feedback to the driver. As for wheels, up to five designs are available.

The cockpit has a fairly simple layout without too much drama compared to the Evija, however, notice a Lamborghini-inspired red flipping thing on the starter button on the centre console. Other features include a flat-bottom steering wheel with touch controls, a 10.25-inch central touchscreen, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay connectivity, a 12.3-inch driver display, and a premium audio system by KEF. Materials as you can see, include Alcantara and leather options.

Safety and assistance systems would include all the usual stuff such as adaptive cruise control, anti-collision system, fatigue alert, road sign information, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist.

Moving on to the juicy bits of the story then, the Emira is not gonna be powered by any electric motors and there’s not gonna be any hybridization either. However, it’ll be available either with a Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre Supercharged V6 or AMG’s 2.0-litre 4-cylinder M139 engine that debuted in 2019. Lotus didn’t share the engine-specific output figures but said that the power output is gonna be between 360 to 400 hp and the max torque is gonna be 430 Nm (317 lb-ft). As you might know, the M139 produces up to 421 metric hp in certain AMG models, which means Lotus might offer a performance variant at a later date. As for the gearboxes, a manual is confirmed along with a torque converter automatic and a DCT.

Former F1 driver Jenson Button took an exclusive test drive in the manual variant.

Lotus is targeting a kerb weight of 1,405 kg (3,097 lbs) and that is probably in the lightest setting possible. Claimed performance figures include a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 290 km/h (180 mph).

The Emira will be built at Lotus’ new £100 million facility in the UK. Deliveries are expected to begin next year.

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