Introducing the Emira, the last Lotus powered by an internal combustion engine

By Colin Wood
Jul 7, 2021 | Lotus, Emira

Photography Courtesy Lotus

Back in April, Lotus teased us with its latest sports car, the Emira, and informed the world that it would be the last Lotus built with an internal combustion engine.

Now, we know what the Emira looks like–and what it’ll come powered by.

Like many previous Lotus models, the Emira will be a mid-engine sports car with two poweprlants available: The familiar 3.5-liter, supercharged V6 found in the outgoing Exige and Evora, and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four, courtesy “technical partner” Mercedes-AMG.

It isn’t 100% clear in the press release, though it reads as though the V6 Emira will have a choice of either a manual or automatic transmission, with the turbo-four model available with a dual-clutch (also from Mercedes-AMG) or manual transmission.

As far as power output, the entire Emira range is said to be good for 360-400 horsepower.

Starting price is set for 60,000 pounds, roughly $82,812.00.

Is the Emira worthy of being the final gas-powered car from Lotus? And how do you feel knowing that everything from here on out from the sports car maker will be all electric?

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pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
7/6/21 3:30 p.m.

I like it.  Looks almost pretty on the outside and I like the size.  Interior looks about right to me maybe besides the not entirely round steering wheel.  Two liter turbo four with a real manual trans sounds like a nice combination.

Time to win the lottery?

CLH GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/6/21 4:11 p.m.

Like yes

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/6/21 4:18 p.m.

If it's the 2.0L turbo four from the GLA AMG 45, that'll be slick. 

Deep down inside I've always wished that lotus would've done an aluminum low displacement high revving naturally aspirated V8 in one of their modern chassis. They're such a direct chassis and yet nearly all have forced induction engines. And while I love boost, the directness and response of a V8 that's under 4L and revs north of 8 grand would've been such a pleasure in those chassis. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/6/21 4:44 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I'm not sure Lotus has had the money for engine development for some time.

Of course, neither did TVR and they built several (two? three?) unique engines in the late 90s. Although that's maybe not the ideal role model.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/6/21 4:55 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yeah I kind of figured that they would've had to partner with someone for development and potentially do a dry sump setup and flat plane crank in house. I guess other parties weren't interested as such engines aren't stellar at making torque and moving mass and most partner applications would've had another 1000lb on the Lotus. If Toyota would've been willing to cut 2 cylinders from the LFA engine...

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
7/6/21 5:02 p.m.

I believe TVR made money during the years they were developing and building the AJP motors.  It would be interesting to see if Lotus was able to make positive profits on the Esprit V8 project.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/7/21 8:37 a.m.

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

Has Lotus ever managed to make positive profits on any project?

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
7/7/21 8:58 a.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

Has Lotus ever managed to make positive profits on any project?

I bet they made money on the Elite/Eclat/Excel cars.  Also the original Elan based on how the company grew during that production run.  Same with the 7.  They also sold their slant-four motor to outside companies for use in sporty cars, so I imagine that was a net positive project, especially when considering how long the tooling was used. 

RichardSIA HalfDork
7/7/21 12:17 p.m.

So sad.
I will console myself by doing some work on a true Chapman Lotus, my Europa/Gordini.    EV = ∞Ω

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/7/21 1:04 p.m.

Good looking car, looks like a toned-down Evija. It'll be interesting to see their first sub-7-digit EV.

Any time I feel nostalgic for ICE noises and shifting I'll try to remember all the ICE reliability issues...but the performance advantage of a solid wall of torque, ideally sent through individual wheel-motors offering better traction than any diff could, might make me forget about the theatre of an ICE anyway.

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