The last one only on petrol
As per tradition, her name begins with E. In some languages that have now disappeared, it means “she who leads”. Since the Lotus Emira replaces, in one fell swoop, all the previous Lotus production (Elise, Exige and Evora), it can be interpreted with the fact that the car closes an era and opens another: this is the latest model driven by a petrol engine (the next will be 100% electric) and the first entirely new under the new management of the Chinese company Geely, which took over the British brand in 2017.
From a technical point of view, the Lotus Emira it is linked to the latest models of the house, with its frame in glued and riveted extruded aluminum. An aeronautical solution that combines lightness (the frame weighs about 100 kg) and sturdiness. Needless to say, the engine is centrally located behind the rider and passenger. Low, large, toned and compact, in the sinuous shapes the Lotus Emira stands out and is inspired by the Evija, the 2000 HP electric sports car nearing its debut (read here the news). However, it is not a design that is an end in itself, but dictated by aerodynamic needs. An example? The slits that, like scratches, cut the front hood serve to improve the adhesion of the air flow to the bodywork.
Attentive to comfort
Aerodynamic efficiency aside, the Lotus Emira it is also an agile car because, like all Lotus, it weighs little. Even if its 1405 kg does not make it pass among the lightest sports cars of the house, it is certainly an interesting value for a coupé, in our case, with a multi-fractionated engine and with all those features that cannot be renounced today. With the Emira, in fact, the British manufacturer “raises the bar”, launching itself on a terrain previously only partially explored with the Evora, that is that of the superspoprtive coupes yes, but also pouring them out for everyday use. In short, a step higher than the Elise and Exige, less prone to compromises between performance and comfort because they are devoted to pure driving enthusiasts (preferably on the track), but of which the new model maintains all those emotions that a Lotus knows. transmit.
Unlike the models that have just retired, the Lotus Emira it is more comfortable, spacious (it has a trunk worthy of the name), better finished and equipped with all that is expected from a car of its category. The seats are large and comfortable, covered in leather and well profiled to hold the body even in the most abrupt changes of direction. The level of digitization is also up to expectations, with a 12.3 ” display behind the steering wheel that contains all the instruments and a 10.25 ” touch screen from which on-board services are managed: from automatic climate control. , to connections with telephones. At least for the moment, however, the Adas continue to be missing, or safety systems such as automatic emergency braking and maintenance in such a way.
Ready to go wild
What doesn’t change is the feeling of being behind the wheel of a real sports car. There Lotus Emira it is certainly a comfortable Gran turismo with which, if you wish, you can “take it easy” and travel with a little gas, but just select the Sport driving mode (with rocker in the tunnel) to find a Lotus doc verve. The throttle responds more readily and the 3.5 V6 with 405 HP (of Toyota origin and already mounted on the Exige and Evora) thrusts angrily up to almost 7000 rpm, without ever missing a beat thanks to the tireless work of the volumetric compressor. The six-speed manual gearbox (the automatic with torque converter at 2,670 euros) is quick, precise and a little more maneuverable than before. This last detail makes it less tiring in normal driving (even if the clutch is not the softest). Some purists, however, may complain that it is less true than the previous one.
On the track he knows his stuff
Unlike the Elise and Exige, designed for use on the track or, in any case, rather “extreme”, the Lotus Emira it doesn’t necessarily need to be pushed to the limit to give emotions. This, of course, doesn’t mean she isn’t comfortable in the curbs. On the contrary: on the test circuit that winds its way past the Hethel factory, the car showed truly surprising agility and all the quickness of cornering expected from a Lotus. Very powerful and safe braking, which never compromises stability, even in the most critical situations. The pressure on the accelerator pedal, however, must be measured with caution because the prompt response of the V6 can trigger some demanding skidding to be corrected when the wheels are steered. Especially in Track mode, and therefore with the electronic driving aids completely switched off, expertise is required.
The exuberant character of the Lotus Emira it also manifested itself in the part of the test carried out on roads open to traffic. Driving it at a fast pace in the narrow country lanes is electrifying, thanks to the car’s remarkable reactivity, very prompt in trajectory changes. If anything, if the asphalt is not perfectly smooth, the tendency of the steering to “copy” the imperfections of the road surface can be annoying. Not bad, for a sportswoman, the absorption of the holes. In short, emotions are guaranteed, but to fully enjoy them you must always be very concentrated. On the other hand, we are talking about a Lotus. In other words, a car that requires a very intense man-machine relationship and also the right amount of “effort”, but which, in turn, can give strong emotions.
Already on sale
There Lotus Emira in the launch version First Edtion with the 3.5 V6 of the test it is already on sale at 102,780 euros. Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, cruise control, leather interior and 20 ”forged wheels. The model with the 360 HP 2.0 turbo and the dual-clutch gearbox derived from the Mercedes A35 AMG can also be ordered: it costs 95,480 euros.
In our opinion
> Comfort. Not bad for a sports car.
> Guide. It is very fulfilling
> Line. She has charm and stands out.
> Adas. There are no driving aids such as automatic emergency braking.
> Gear engagement. The clutch is not light. Some purists would have liked a slightly more contrasting engagement of the ratios.
> Steering. It tends to copy the imperfections of the road
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