New Lotus Emira: video shows 2022 sports car in dynamic testing

Lotus releases film of its new Emira being put through its paces by chassis guru Gavan Kershaw

Lotus is whetting appetites for its brand-new Emira sports car, ahead of first deliveries commencing next year, with a new video showing the car in dynamic testing. 

The short film shows the forthcoming rival to the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche Cayman undergoing high-speed testing at Lotus’ Hethel test track in the hands of Gavan Kershaw, director of Attributes & Product Integrity and long-standing chassis guru.

While also showing the car’s ability to transition into neat power slides, Kershaw explains how the Emira’s supercharged 3.5-litre V6 offers excellent response from low revs and a crescendo of performance that builds as the revs increase.

Kershaw also explains the car’s drive four drive modes. Tour is designed to give “maximum stability and control” while Sport allows “body slip” and improves throttle response. Race mode changes the digital instruments to a more performance-oriented set-up and allows further slip angles via reduced stability control, without reducing the ABS response for secure braking. Finally, Fully Off is self-explanatory, turning all stability systems off to make the car “100% controlled by the driver”.

Furthermore, Kershaw gives a description of the car’s interior design, which is claimed to be “really modern in feel” with perfect manual gearshift positioning. Finally, claims are made about the car’s thermal management and downforce generation.

New 2022 Lotus Emira: pricing and specs

The new Lotus Emira won’t be available to order until the spring, but the company has announced the initial launch price. It’ll cost £75,995 in generously equipped First Edition trim powered by the range-topping 3.5-litre V6 engine. 

Features such as 20-inch lightweight forged wheels with three colour options, 12-way adjustable heated seats, rear parking sensors, climate control, cruise control, keyless start and selectable drive modes are standard. There is also Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity along with a premium audio system.

First Edition buyers also receive three option packs thrown in, including the Driver’s Pack, which gives customers the choice of two suspension options and tyre choices. Softer Tour suspension comes with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tyres, while the Sport suspension option comes with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. 

The standard-fit Design Pack adds privacy glass, Alcantara headlining and a choice of brake caliper colour, plus Lotus-branded mats. The Convenience pack adds front parking sensors, a reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming mirrors. Options include the £1200 Black pack which brings lots of black detailing, and an £1,800 six-speed paddleshift automatic gearbox. 

Customers are also offered seven no-cost interior colour choices with either Nappa leather or black Alcantara (the latter with different coloured stitching). Six exterior paint colours are available, with more to be added throughout 2022. 

Also arriving later in 2022 (likely in the autumn) is the cheaper four-cylinder version. Then, in 2023, an entry-level specification will arrive costing £59,995. 

New 2022 Lotus Emira: engines and performance

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. That torque figure rises to 430Nm in the automatic version. 

Lotus says this is enough for a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds, or 4.2 seconds with the automatic model. The top speed is 180mph, while power goes through the rear wheels in all versions.  

Later next year, another First Edition Emira powered by Mercedes-AMG’s M139 turbocharged four cylinder petrol engine will be launched. Lotus is yet to reveal the output of this car, but we know it’s capable of producing up to 415bhp in the Mercedes-AMG A45 S hot hatchback. 

It’s possible that the four-cylinder model 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. The four-cylinder will only be offered with a (likely Mercedes-sourced) dual-clutch automatic gearbox when it arrives, however. 

New 2022 Lotus Emira: design, platform and chassis

The Emira is the first all-new model to launch under Lotus’s new Chinese owner, Geely. It’s also the first car to emerge from the brand’s Vision 80 plan, devised under previous CEO Phil Popham to re-establish the brand before its 80th anniversary in 2028. 

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.

The Emira makes use of double-wishbone suspension at all four corners, with two suspension setup options, depending on whether you want your car to be road-biased or track-biased. The steering is hydraulic, rather than electric, which should please purists. 

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”.

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 in 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.

Now read more about the new, all-electric Lotus Evija hypercar…

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