My Car Quest

August 3, 2021

The Swan Song of Pistons for Lotus: The Lotus Emira

by Wallace Wyss –

Egad, Lotus brings out a car and it’s not a hybrid? Not to worry, there might be a hybrid later on and even an all electric by 2025. That one in 2025 will be by the way an electric sports car, built in co-operation with Alpine.

Lotus Emira

Lotus Emira

The Emira is mid-engined but not a direct replacement for the Elise, Exige and Evora. It is aimed at the Porsche 718, or in America at the base model Corvette. Emira will start delivering the V6 first, this a 3.5 liter supercharged Toyota engine already offered before in the Exige and Evora. The four-cylinder option, using a Mercedes engine, will come later.

The four is developed by AMG, who engineer all of Mercedes high performance engines. There will be an array of shifting choices–a manual, an auto and DCT auto, though at intro they didn’t say what engine is paired with what gearbox. Lotus quoted power outputs of 360bhp and 400bhp, and mentioned a clocking of 4.5 seconds for 0-62mph, but didn’t say say which engine achieved that. Surprisingly the four might be the one with the most power.

Lotus Emira Interior

One tie to the good old days is that the six-speed manual transmission comes with exposed linkage, like a sports car of the ’50s. There will be two suspension set-ups. At least with steering they have eschewed electric assist for hydraulic not electric power. The Touring suspension is for road driving, but if you go to tracks on weekends, and want more feel, there’s the Sport option. All wheel options are 20 in and the tires specially developed for the car, including one called the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 for track-biased drivers.

Lotus Emira

The car’s structure consists of bonded aluminum extrusions like the existing Evora. One big difference is that the new car is a whole lot wider. Some critics compared it to the Alpine saying it’s wider and heavier but since the Alpine is not sold in the US, that won’t daunt their US sales.

The price will be under $100,000 and I view that as intelligent marketing. Roughly one third that of the new Ferrari 296 V6-powered coupe which sells for $321,400 – $360,900.

The interior manages to look both posh and businesslike compared with the plainer Elise. It boasts such features as a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 12/3-inch digital driver’s display, four-way electrically adjustable seats and ambient interior lighting.

In sum, I congratulate Lotus for coming out with one last internal combustion engined car for us traditionalists. Its specs, and price are what Ferrari should have done with the 296, offering a car true to the Dino tradition, i.e. a V6-powered “baby Ferrari” intended as a stepping stone to their V8 and V12 cars. But Ferrari didn’t build that so Lotus is aiming for that mid-engined V6 niche, though it’s apples and oranges because the 296 is a hybrid and has aerodynamic devices like a rear spoiler that rises out of the bumper when needed.

I say – Good show! Carry on, chaps…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss has lectured on car design at the Art Center College of Design. At present he is working on art for his Art & Books booth at Concorso Italiano.

 
 

 

 

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Photos compliments of Lotus.
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The Swan Song of Pistons for Lotus: The  Lotus Emira
Article Name
The Swan Song of Pistons for Lotus: The Lotus Emira
Description
I congratulate Lotus for coming out with one last internal combustion engined car, the Lotus Emira, for us traditionalists.
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Comments

  1. Certainly a stunning Swan song for the internal combustion Lotus… sad to see manufacturers totally embracing electric cars so thoroughly in my opinion, but I may be alone in that line of reasoning… guess I am a dinosaur like the internal combustion engine… and yes I get that electric cars are faster… but I would remind all you folks who are so green minded that 23% of electricity in the USA is still from coal fired plants… And while battery technology has taken great leaps it is not where it will ultimately be…Then there is the fact that we will at some point over load the grid with electrical demands… I am sure to see lots of back lash from the electric fans… Don’t get me wrong electric cars are fun to drive but then so are gas powered vehicles, and then there is the sound…

  2. Trevor Gaunt says

    Surely hydrogen is the long-term answer, if we are to continue to use cars beyond 2050.
    How much lithium exists that can be mined or mined and then separated economically from its granite surroundings?
    How much of the inevitable disruption to their locality, eg subsidence, will those who live close to lithium deposits tolerate?
    Will national electricity grids be able to cope?
    Is the use of child “slave labour” in African cobalt mines – cobalt is also used in electric vehicles – acceptable to the Western World?
    How can the battery packs, situated as they are between double floorpans, be replaced – or even recycled economically? I’m aware Musk is planning a Tesla with more accessible battery packs.
    Sure, battery life and vehicle mileage range are increasing rapidly, but what will happen to the early EVs when their batteries give up?
    It’s already been said by Stellantis’ CEO that cars of the future will be affordable only to an elite of high earners.
    I accept that internal combustion engined vehicles pollute our cities’ air – remember the LA smog you could see extending from Long Beach to Rim of the World Drive? In fact, for most of the year you could see nothing of LA from the San Bernardino mountains. But vehicle technology has reduced ice emissions dramatically.
    Sorry if I’ve bored you, but one last thing: I believe our “throwaway” society rather than the “make do and mend” attitude of the between the Wars years, has contributed far more than piston engines to our so-called “Climate Emergency”.

  3. wallace wyss says

    California gets 10% o its electricity from Oregon. Oregon is cutting back because of forest fires. So Californians will have periodic cut-offs of electricity. Sorry all you fully electric car owners, no electricity available today. I guess the electric boosters never head of climate change–the increasing fire danger resulting from it imperils delivery of electricity. Talk about wanting to put all our eggs in one basket…

  4. Well it would seem that there are a number of folks who get that electric cars are not exactly a panacea… and yet we are certainly heading in that direction… Thanks to Wallace Wyss and Trevor Gaunt for their extremely poignant incites…

  5. This is a photo I took back in 2013 at the Los Angeles Auto Show and it looks to me like Lotus was properly ready to make a small two seater electric even back then. Sorry about the poor focus but it seems to me even back then a small light and possibly cheap Lotus was ready to go go go. Just because Tesla starts high end doesn’t mean other car companies have to start that way. Ford and Volkswagen kind of have a history of producing for the average guy at the cheap end of the scale. I welcome an age of clean transportation with cheap renewable energy utilized in every application and eventually someone will make a breakthrough with a cheap smart electric vehicle for the masses. Progress won’t be stopped because you don’t think they can do it or because you love the sound and smell of the internal combustion engines. Problems will be solved and our vehicles will stop burning petrochemicals.

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