DESIGN The Emira looks like it ought to be priced at supercar level. Those dramatic intakes and vents, the muscular haunches, and the taut, sinuous bodywork will get heads turning wherever you drive. Yet unlike most broad-hipped supercars, it’s compact enough to be enjoyed on British B roads. That low stance and athletic shrink-wrapped body sets your expectations for Lotus’ legendary agile driving characteristics – and it doesn’t disappoint. Vertical all-LED headlamps are standard across the range, with a wing-inspired twin blade design that’s reminiscent of the Evija all-electric supercar.
PERFORMANCE The Emira comes with a choice of powertrains. The flagship is the supercharged 3.5-litre V6 that’s familiar from the now-discontinued Evora. This unit develops 400bhp, powers the Emira from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds and is available with manual or automatic transmissions. Alternatively, you can have the AMG-derived 2.0-litre turbo four, which develops 360bhp and is only available with an 8-speed DCT transmission. The four-cylinder powertrain chases the V6 hard by recording the 0-62mph benchmark a mere 0.1 seconds slower at 4.4 seconds. On paper there’s little to choose between the two; the four-cylinder is slightly lighter and has a higher top gear for relaxed cruising, while the V6 has an intoxicating soundtrack and is the only choice if you prefer an old-school manual box. Whichever you choose, the Emira’s sophisticated, supply chassis tune and light weight (1,405kg in its lightest form) will deliver handling nirvana.
TECHNOLOGY Long gone are the days when the only entertainment in a Lotus was provided by the steering, throttle, and brakes. The Emira will still dominate your senses on track or a demanding Alpine pass, but for more humdrum journeys you’ll find the cockpit a very civilised and well-equipped place. The dashboard features a 10.25-inch touchscreen with integrated navigation, and the infotainment is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Driver information is provided by a 12.3-inch TFT driver’s display behind the steering wheel, while a KEF Uni-Q premium audio system delivers audiophile musical fidelity. Other convenient features include keyless-go, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, electric folding door mirrors and powered seats.
SAFETY Standard safety systems include an anti-collision system, driver fatigue alert, road sign recognition, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist. Brakes are lightweight, two-piece, cross-drilled and slotted discs, with four-piston callipers on the front axle. The Lotus-calibrated Electronic Stability Control system enhances dynamic performance and control in challenging conditions, such as roads covered in snow, rain or mud.