Lotus Emira is automaker’s farewell to internal combustion

Lotus on Tuesday unveiled the Emira, which the company claims will be its last internal-combustion sports car. It’s expected to start deliveries to global markets—including the United States—in spring 2022, meaning it will likely be considered a 2023 model.

Previously known by the codename Type 131, the Emira will replace the Elise, Exige, and Evora in Lotus’ global lineup, and is the automaker’s first new sports car in more than a decade. It uses bonded-aluminum chassis construction similar to its predecessors, but Lotus claims this a new platform, with all dimensions different from any previous platform.

The Emira measures 173.7 inches long, 74.6 inches wide (with mirrors folded), and 48.2 inches tall. It has a 101.3-inch wheelbase and a 3,097-pound curb weight in its lightest form, per Lotus.

2023 Lotus Emira

Lotus will offer a version of the Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V-6 used in the Evora and Exige, as well as an AMG-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. At launch, power outputs will range from 360 hp to 400 hp (likely for the turbo-4 and V-6, respectively), with maximum torque output of 317 lb-ft, according to Lotus. Manual, automatic, and dual-clutch transmissions will be available.

The company says the quickest version of the Emira will do 0-62 mph in less than 4.5 seconds, with a 180-mph top speed.

Adaptive dampers will be available with two settings: Tour for everyday road use, and Sports for track use. The latter is part of an optional Lotus Drivers Pack that also adds stiffer suspension tuning. Bucking the industry trend, Lotus also keeps hydraulic power steering to maximize feedback to the driver.

The interior is less Spartan than previous Lotus sports cars, with optional 12-way power-adjustable seats, greater storage space, and a digital instrument cluster, as well as a flat-bottomed steering wheel. The Emira also gets an array of available driver-assist features, including adaptive cruise control, a driver-attention monitor, traffic-sign information, lane-departure warnings, lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

2023 Lotus Emira

2023 Lotus Emira

Lotus hasn’t released U.S. pricing for the Emira, but said European pricing will start at about $86,000 at current exchange rates. The Emira will be built at Lotus’ Hethel, England, factory, which was recently upgraded by parent Geely for production of the new sports car.

After the Emira, Lotus will go all-electric. The company is close to signing off on the Evija electric hypercar, which is due to enter production later this year and inspired the Emira’s styling.

Lotus is also developing an electric sports car platform that will be shared with France’s Alpine, as well as a second platform that will reportedly be used for an electric crossover. The crossover will be built in Wuhan, China, as Lotus plans to reserve its U.K. factory for sports cars only.

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