The handling prowess of Lotus’s sports cars has never been in question. But they historically haven’t been the easiest to live with. That seems to have changed with the company’s new Emira two-seater, which drives every bit like a Lotus yet also offers newfound levels of refinement.
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The Lotus Emira will be the final internal-combustion-powered Lotus before the brand switches to EVs. Engine options will include a supercharged 3.5-liter Toyota V-6 and a Mercedes-AMG-sourced turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
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A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard in the Emira, with the V-6 also having the option of a six-speed automatic with a torque converter. The AMG engine will be offered exclusively with a dual-clutch automatic.
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The Emira is intended to combine Lotus’s handling expertise with far more usability than previous models. Its cabin is larger than the outgoing Evora’s and much better finished.
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Digital instruments come as standard in the Evora, as does a 10.3-inch touchscreen interface. Other novel features for the brand include power-adjustable seats, adaptive cruise control, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
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The Emira only has two seats, although there is a small amount of luggage space between these and the rear firewall.
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Lotus is part of the Geely Group, which also owns Volvo. Much the Emira’s switchgear comes from the Swedish brand, including its instrument stalk and some of its climate controls.
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The Emira does not feature adaptive dampers, but buyers will be able to choose between softer Tour and firmer Sport suspension setups.
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Luggage space is disappointingly limited, with no frunk up front and a compact five cubic feet of storage space behind the engine that can get rather warm when the car is used hard.
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We don’t have full pricing yet, but Lotus has said the four-cylinder base car will start at $77,100, while the fully loaded First Edition will cost $96,100.
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