Lotus Emira Driving Report: The Best For Last

One must admit the English, or rather the English. You have the strength. Queen Elizabeth has just celebrated her 70th anniversary, and at Lotus, models such as the Elise and Evora were produced longer than the then prime ministers managed to keep in office. The new Hethel model deserves attention. Especially when it is the last of its kind.

Lotus Emira: from € 96,000

Because before the Lotus athletics fully immersed in the adventure with battery cars, they will use a strong injection of cash from the Chinese Geely Group for the last conventional sports car, which as Emira is to inherit blessed Elise, and also always underestimated Evora just after the holidays. Prices for the ornate “First Edition” start at € 95,995, but are likely to fall well below € 90,000 in the medium term with leaner hardware and a smaller engine.

It is a two-seater, two-seater, 4.41 meters long and 1.22 meters long, which at first glance looks much better than competitors like the Porsche Cayman or even the Toyota Supra. Drawn with the same high-speed lines as Eviya’s electric hypercar, Emira is more eye-catching than all the other teens in the fast lane. And the feast for the eyes does not end after boarding.

In addition to the sleek cockpit and cabin, which was beautifully lined for the first time with high-quality, the bare metal of the 3.5-liter V6 engine hangs behind the seats and tempts with the click of a throttle like a pin-up girl’s eyelids. While few cars can seriously challenge Emir, you have to constantly look in the rearview mirror and get excited about the seductive game of mechanics.

Built on a completely new platform, the Emira has the most classic of all sports cars, with a front engine and rear wheel drive, with a gearbox in between, which in this case is manually operated and as crispy as French fries straight out of a bag. Because Emira, like every Lotus, also focuses on lightweight construction and therefore weighs only 1400 kilograms, it is agile accordingly: 400 HP and 420 Nm are enough for a 3.5-liter compressor purchased for Evora for a 0 to 100 sprint in 4.3 seconds and for Tempo 290, and the four-cylinder AMG announced for 2023 will not be slower with 365 hp and a few centimeters less.

Above all, however, the engine is enough for a sudden heart palpitations, which begins with pressing the start button hidden under the flap and only slowly descends when leaving the last glance at the bold minus and the engine hidden under the glass, while the Air flickers both in the ears and in the exhaust or the brakes creak when it cools down.

Pure emotions in the Lotus Emira

Meanwhile, Emira is pure emotion. Yes, you can also drive the coupe on the highway or drive it like a gran turismo on a long leash along wide winding country roads, just as you can settle for a salad steak. Or you can take a solid T-Bone and order maximum medium to stay with the metaphor. Just like it melts in the mouth of a gourmet. Here’s how Emira feels when you switch to Sport mode and you want to know it on the B-Roads Cotswolds: the steering is precise and direct, the chassis is strong, the brakes are neat, and the barrel organ behind the neck is a lot of guts.

So Emira devours corner after corner, storming the peaks and chasing a few straights, and the driver becomes insatiable. Because there is no such thing as stopping. More like a second aid, ideally “rare”, that is on the racetrack, set in track mode, with even greater sharpness and appetite for turns.

Light, uncompromising and thirsty for gas – the Emira follows the classic Lotus advantages in many respects, but at the same time surprises with some extremely everyday and otherwise obvious innovations: a trunk behind the centrally mounted engine and 208 liters of storage behind the seats, but even a drink space in the door.

Where radio itself was an option when the Elise launched 25 years ago, the British now have digital instruments, including a touchscreen infotainment system and comfort-enhancing features such as a keyless entry system. Even the cruise control with distance control is building a Lotus recently. And most of all, the noticeably larger door now allows humane entry without gymnastic bends.

Lotus introduces the SUV

Of course there is also a bit of melancholy mixed with enthusiasm for Emira. Because while it may be the best Lotus to date, it will also be the last. At least the last one the late Collin Chapman would give his blessing. After that, there are only e-models, and so far even an SUV. Not only are they not sports cars, they are also notoriously overweight because of their batteries.

But there is one consolation: the English have the strength to survive. And if Emira lasts half the time of Elise, we will be able to enjoy the last lotus of its kind for the next decade.

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