Lotus runs the Emira hard – and sideways


Lotus sent Gavin Kershaw – the British automaker’s attributes and product integrity director – out on track with an Emira and a camera crew. In between reminding us that manual transmissions are wonderful and getting the Emira increasingly sideways, Kershaw’s job was to explain how the last ICE-powered Lotus is still a Lotus.

In this extended teaser, Kershaw offers us a look at a fresh new tidbit, that being the car’s four driving modes. “Tour” mode will handle everyday driving, programmed for “maximum stability and control.” “Sport” does what we all expect “Sport” to do, tightening responses and loosening slip angles. “Race” opens up even more slip angle, and changes the gauge cluster to display racy dials like the performance tachometer. Then there’s the wonderfully named “Fully Off,” which shuts down every nanny save the ABS.

And remember, the Emira will be offered with two suspensions, either standard Tour or stiffer Sport, and will only come with hydraulic steering. Sounds like Lotus has delivered on its quest to make the Emira “for the drivers.” 

The engine in the V6 First Edition is the same Toyota-sourced supercharged 3.5-liter V6 found in the Evora, producing 400 horsepower and 310 or 317 pound-feet of torque depending on transmission — the automatic gets the greater torque, but why would you do that? This one comes just about fully loaded, graced with the Driver’s Pack, Lower Black Pack, Design Pack, and Convenience Pack, plus optional 20-inch wheels with diamond-cut two-tone finish and two-piece brake discs with branded calipers. It won’t cost anything to swap the wheels for silver or black versions. The only other big-time options we know about so far are the $1,400 Extended Black Pack, which adds more black accents in places like the roof, mirror caps, and exhaust finishers, and the $2,150 six-speed automatic to replace the six-speed manual. 

Next year’s base model will run with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder procured from AMG, producing 360 hp and shifting through a dual-clutch transmission. 

While you wait, the Emira V6 First Edition configurator is online and ready for flights of fancy. To get in one when they begin arriving Stateside, the V6 First Edition opens up the bidding in early 2022 at $93,900. Late 2022 brings a base four-cylinder Emira that starts at $74,900. Neither of those prices includes destination.

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