Lotus Emira Will Be the Final Gasoline Car from the Sports-Car Maker

  • Lotus is replacing a full lineup of sports cars—Evora, Elise, Exige—with just one, and it’s going to be the last gasoline-engined model: the Emira.
  • The forthcoming car will come with a choice of a 300-hp four-cylinder or a V-6 powerplant expected to make more than 400 horsepower. There’ll be no hybrid or plug-in-hybrid version.
  • We’re only seeing teaser photos for now, but the Emira will be fully on view in July, and it will be on sale by the end of the year, priced starting in the mid-$60,000s.

    We have known that Lotus plans to replace its entire existing lineup with a single new car since January. Now the British sports-car maker has confirmed the name for that next-generation sports car—Emira—and released these teaser images.

    Previously known by its engineering code name, Type 131, the Emira has been designed to deliver on Lotus’s promise of creating a more usable and better-equipped car than the Evora, Elise, and Exige that it collectively replaces. “I think Lotus in the past has maybe been a bit guilty of engineering something it thought people wanted and then putting it to the market,” explained Matt Windle, Lotus’s new managing director. “Now we’re trying to engineer something that people actually want.”

    The automaker posted this cryptic video on social media ahead of the teaser photos’ release. We mean “cryptic” quite literally: apparently the word “Emira” is spelled out in Morse code in the road lines.

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    The Emira is set to launch later this year and will be sold in the U.S. with full federal homologation. It will only be available in coupe form, and Windle confirmed that there are no plans for a roadster version. This will be the last new Lotus to be launched with an internal-combustion engine; all the company’s products beyond this will be EVs.

    lotus emira

    Lotus Cars

    The Emira will come with the choice of two powerplants. At the entry level, a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be offered exclusively with a twin-clutch transmission. Lotus hasn’t said where this engine will be coming from, but insiders say it won’t be a Volvo or Geely power unit. Above this will be a developed version of the supercharged Toyota V-6 from the Evora, which will come with the choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a torque-converter automatic. Contrary to some earlier reports, Windle confirmed that there won’t be a hybrid or plug-in variant. Lotus plans to make a straight transition to full electrification.

    We’re told that the four-cylinder version will make more than 300 horsepower, and we can safely expect the V-6 to produce at least as much as the 416-hp output of the Evora GT, meaning a performance overlap with both the Porsche Cayman and the lower reaches of the 911 range.

    “We’ve tried to cover as many bases as possible,” Windle told Car and Driver. “Two powerplants will enable us to cover most of that market. It’s a Lotus that you can live with, we’ve given it broader appeal, but it’s still a fantastic sports car with a range of different models that will go from base spec up to an R.”

    lotus emira

    Rear view of the Emira.

    Lotus Cars

    The Emira will continue to sit on a bonded aluminum architecture, although the teaser images make clear that its external design has been inspired by the carbon-fiber Evija EV hypercar. We’re told to expect a much plusher cabin than previous Lotus models, with insiders saying the car will feature both digital instruments and a capacitive touchscreen for many control functions. It will also be the first Lotus to have active safety systems, although none that require steering intervention.

    That’s because, like the Evija, the Emira will be sticking with hydraulically assisted steering on the basis of better feel and feedback, which matters more to Lotus than the ability to add lane-keeping with pure electric power steering. This won’t be possible for much longer: Windle said the forthcoming European GSR2 regulations, coming in 2027, mandate active driver assistance that will need EPS. But it’s good to see that these details still matter.

    We’ll see the finished Emira in July, and it will be on sale by the end of the year. Anticipate pricing to run from the mid-$60,000s to the low $100,000s.

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