New Lotus Emira: prices and First Edition specs announced

It’s only offered in First Edition trim for now – but Lotus will follow-up with an entry-level Emira model in 2023, which will cost £59,995

Lotus has announced prices and specifications for the all-new Emira. Currently, the sports car is only available with the company’s range-topping V6 engine and generously equipped First Edition trim-level, which will set you back £75,995.

However, Lotus has plans to expand the Emira line-up. Late next year, we’ll get another First Edition model powered by Mercedes-AMG’s M139 turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces as much as 415bhp in the A 45 S hot hatchback. Then, in 2023, there’ll be a new entry-level model costing £59,995.

We haven’t yet been told how much power the new engine will make, but it’s possible that the four-cylinder could overtake the V6 as the Emira’s most potent powertrain during the car’s life-cycle, given tightening emissions rules across the model’s key markets.

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The Emira First Edition is powered by a supercharged version of Toyota’s 2GR-FE 3.5-litre V6 engine, which produces 395bhp and 420Nm of torque. Lotus says this is enough for a 0–62mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 180mph.

Power goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although Lotus offers a six-speed paddle-shift automatic gearbox as a £1,800 optional extra.

Standard equipment for the Emira First Edition includes lightweight 20-inch forged alloy wheels, LED lights, heated and electrically folding door mirrors, a titanium exhaust finisher and all-round parking sensors. Buyers also have a choice of six paint finishes.

Inside, the launch edition model gets a pair of heated leather sports seats, a multi-function steering wheel and climate control. In terms of technology, there’s a 10-channel 340W audio system, a 10.25-inch infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. 

Lotus also fitted a host of normally optional extras as standard to the Emira First Edition. Upgrades include the company’s Black Pack, which swaps the sports car’s air dams, front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser for gloss black replacements.

The Drivers Pack gives buyers a choice of either comfort-biased “Tour” or track-biased “Sport” suspension (as well as two tyre options), while the Convenience Pack brings a reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors and a luggage net.

The Design Pack adds tinted windows, sports pedals, a black Alcantara headliner and a choice of either black, red, yellow or silver brake calipers. The cabin also gets a further lift with a set of Lotus-branded floor mats.

New 2022 Lotus Emira: design and platform

We’ve been waiting to see how Lotus would transform its line-up under its new Chinese owner, Geely – and the Emira is the first example of the company’s new vision.

The sports car mixes Lotus’s traditional lightweight engineering approach with cutting-edge technology. It’s underpinned by the brand’s fresh Sports Car Architecture, which is a further evolution of the bonded aluminium chassis structure that made its debut on the original Elise, but with different dimensions, so it will weigh from as little as 1,405kg.

It was penned by Lotus’s chief designer Russell Carr, and blends cues from the all-electric Evija hypercar with nods to previous models. The Emira is 4,412mm long and 1,895mm wide – around 20mm longer and 10mm wider than the Evora. At the front, vertical LED headlights sit at either side of a bonnet that incorporates exit vents to help channel airflow over the car.

The rear brings elements from the Evija – in particular, the deep scallops in the bumper – along with an integrated spoiler that harks back to the first Elise. On the whole, the car has a complex, aggressive stance, delivering on the traditional Lotus approach of “functional aesthetics.”

Mercedes-AMG has been confirmed as a technical partner for the project and, when its 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine finally goes on sale in the Emira next year, it won’t be offered with a manual gearbox. The only option will be a dual-clutch automatic unit.

New 2022 Lotus Emira: interior and equipment

The Emira’s interior marks even more of a change for Lotus – and it’s arguably here where owner Geely’s more lofty ambitions for the brand become evident. 

The driver-focused dashboard features a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that incorporates Android and Apple integration. There’s also a flat-bottomed steering wheel and extensive use of double stitching, including across the top of the fascia. The use of common Geely switchgear in the Emira appears minimal.

Lotus says the cabin packaging offers more space than its previous models, which is better able to accommodate both short and tall occupants. There’s significantly better storage too, with door bins that can hold half-litre bottles, a pair of cup-holders with a smartphone storage slot between them, an armrest between the seats and USB and 12V charging ports.

There’s also 208 litres of luggage space behind the two seats, and a further 151 litres in the boot behind the engine. Lotus says the second of these load bays can hold an aircraft cabin-compatible bag or a set of golf clubs.

Matt Windle, Lotus’s recently appointed managing director, called the Emira “the most accomplished Lotus road car ever”. It will be built at the established facility, which has been going through an extensive refit as part of a £100m investment. “The Emira is a junior supercar with all the thrills found in the greatest Lotus cars, but at the same time it’s an everyday sports car that’s high on comfort and functionality,” Windle said.

Click here to read more about the new, all-electric Lotus Evija hypercar…

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