New Lotus Emira changes the rules

 Published 9th August 2021
General Guides  New Launches 

There's a slightly unfair acronym for Lotus that goes back quite a number of years. Back to a different time when AA Patrols still saluted. A time when the classic British sports car belching steam at the side of the road was actually a brand-new British sports car belching steam at the side of the road. Judging by the recently unveiled Lotus Emira it's time for that to change.

Lotus now stands for Loads Of Thrills, Usually Sideways. And leasing the new Lotus Emira might be the best decision you ever make.

The Emira is an all-new mid-engined sports car that embodies the ongoing transformation of the Lotus business and brand. It features all the hallmarks that the world has come to expect from a Lotus – striking design, thrilling dynamic performance delivering best-in-class ride and handling, outstanding aerodynamics, and an unrivalled experience ‘For the Driver'.

It boasts all the visual drama of an exotic supercar, with great proportions, wide footprint and a cabin that sits low down between muscular haunches. Add in the fact that it's practical enough to be usable every day and it's a compelling alternative to the existing sports car competition.

The influence of the all-electric Lotus Evija is plain to see in the prominent leading edge of the bonnet, shrink-wrapped cabin that's tapered to the rear, sculpted doors and vents cut into the rear haunches. The exit vents, integrated into the bonnet to guide airflow over the car and optimise aerodynamics, are also derived from the Evija.

lotus emira

At the back, the Lotus name stretches across the integrated bumper. At each end is an exit vent for air from the wheel arch, and each corner has a flat C-shaped LED light cluster linked by a slimline high-level brake light. Below you'll find the twin exhaust pipes either side of the number plate and with an air diffuser underneath to aid downforce.

Vertical all-LED headlamps are standard across the range, with a wing-inspired twin blade design also familiar from the Lotus hypercar. All wheels are 20-inches in diameter and will be wearing Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tyres as standard, or a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 if you choose the optional Lotus Drivers Pack. Both tyres have been specially developed for the Emira.

Lightweight chassis - as you would expect

This new Lotus has been developed on a new lightweight bonded aluminium chassis, technology pioneered by Lotus, and which remains an intrinsic part of the company's sports car DNA. The car has two defined chassis and suspension settings. Tour is tuned for everyday road use, delivering the optimum blend of performance and handling with a comfortable ride. Sports is available with the optional Lotus Drivers Pack and provides a slightly stiffer suspension set-up for enhanced dynamic capability and feel.

Two petrol engines will be available when the Emira goes on sale, a Lotus-engineered 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit from Mercedes-AMG, and the bulletproof Toyota 3.5-litre V6 used in the Exige and Evora. Depending on engine choice, power output will be somewhere between 360 and 400bhp, with potential 0-60mph times under 4.5 seconds and top speeds of up to 180mph.

The new-to-Lotus AMG unit is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Transverse-mounted and delivering rear-wheel drive, the unit has been modified with a new air intake system and new exhaust to suit the character of the Emira. That sits in the line-up alongside the familiar 3.5-litre supercharged V6 loved by drivers of the Exige and Evora.

More creature comforts

In a slight change of direction, the Lotus Emira is a little less sparse than you might expect from a brand famed for its lightness.

The wraparound dashboard blends into the door trim and makes the driver feel a part of the car. The positioning of the gearstick echoes the iconic Esprit, and the semi-exposed gear linkage visible at the base of the centre console on V6 manual cars, and the protective red cover over the start/stop button add to the sense of drama.

The two seats have been designed to combine exceptional lateral support on track with total comfort for long distance journeys. There is four-way electric adjustment on the standard seat, with the option to upgrade to a premium sports seat with 12-way electric adjustment. Also unique to the Emira is the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with metallic spoke detail and integrated controls.

lotus emira interior

Other features available on the Lotus Emira include 10-inch touchscreen, keyless go, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, electric folding door mirrors, parking sensors, auto-dimming rear view mirror, curtain airbags, launch control (as part of optional Lotus Drivers Pack), and a stolen vehicle tracker. Driver Assistance Systems include adaptive cruise control, anti-collision system, fatigue alert, road sign information, vehicle speed limiter, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist.

The new Emira may be a lightweight Lotus, but it's an incredibly well equipped one. It's even got cupholders, and a slot to store your phone, and USB sockets, and door bins that will actually hold a bottle.

What more could you possibly want from your next lease car?

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