Lotus has released details of its first all-new model since the Evora, the Emira, due to go into production in early 2022.
The UK-based manufacturer has benefitted from a £100m (US$138m) investment from owner Geely, which has been put into both a major update of its manufacturing and design facilities, and the development of a new model range, of which the Emira is the first product.
The car is built on the recently announced Lotus Sports Car Architecture. It uses the same bonded extruded aluminum chassis technology which debuted on the Elise. However, Lotus states that for the Emira, every dimension is different to any of its previous chassis and it is fabricated in an all-new facility – Lotus Advanced Structures – in the UK city of Norwich, a few miles from the main Hethel site.
From launch, two petrol engines are to be available, a Mercedes 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit from AMG, which Lotus says it has re-engineered, and the 3.5-liter V6 from the existing Exige and Evora models.
Working with Lotus for the first time, AMG has come on board as technical partner for the program, with Lotus saying some fundamental changes have been made to the in-line four-cylinder setup to suit the Emira’s installation. Transverse-mounted and providing rear-wheel drive, the unit has been modified with a new air intake system and exhaust to suit the character of the mid-engine sportscar. Meanwhile, the second engine is more familiar, and will be available with both a DCT and manual transmission.
Gavan Kershaw, director of vehicle attributes, Lotus, commented, “The 2.0-liter is the world’s most powerful production in-line four-cylinder unit mated to AMG’s acclaimed DCT with paddleshifts and driving modes. It’s high-performance, hugely efficient thanks to cutting-edge technology, and delivers low emissions and linear performance. On top of all that, it’s been tuned in-house by the hugely experienced Hethel engineers to deliver that distinctive Lotus experience.
“The Emira has a wider track than any recent Lotus road car, enhancing stability, delivering exceptional road-holding and the sensation of a very low center of gravity. It is a true Lotus sports car that builds on the legacy of the Elise, Exige and Evora.”