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Review: Lotus Emira V6, first test on Dutch soil! (2022)

November 17, 2022

Just thank China!

Before you read this Lotus Emira review: every Lotus fan should actually send a thank you card to China as a matter of urgency, because thanks to Geely, Lotus still exists. This Chinese auto group also constitutes the parent company of Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co, Proton and, for some time now, Lotus. Thanks to Geely, Lotus has been able to invest heavily in the future. Under the title Vision80, Lotus presented a strategic plan that guides Lotus’ transformation toward its 80th anniversary in 2028. The concrete message: the wheel is changing at Lotus. The Lotus Emira represents Lotus’ farewell model as we have known it for years. So with an internal combustion engine. The future of Lotus is electric.

Lotus 2.0

The Lotus Emira is the “last hurrah” of a Lotus with an internal combustion engine. Lotus sells the model worldwide. The aim of the car, together with the electric Evija hypercar, is to boost Lotus’ brand awareness worldwide. At the same time, Lotus is busy repositioning and expanding its Lotus retail network. It has to be, because electric cars are coming mostly to appeal to a larger group. Consider the electric performance SUV Eletre.

Lotus Emira - back cover


Anyway, in this story we are not talking about electric yet. Electric window controls maybe, but not over a battery-electric powertrain. The Lotus Emira – pronounce the name “Eh-more-ah” – is still a nice old-fashioned combustion-engine sports car. Emira, by the way, can be translated as “commander” or “leader” in numerous ancient languages. With that, the name fits nicely with the car’s mission: to usher in a new era for Lotus.

Lotus Emira - side

Lotus Emira V6 can roar!

Fortunately, the Emira is still allowed to do so roaring. In the Lotus Emira V6 Supercharged First Edition we drove, you get to enjoy a roaring V6 engine every time. The First Edition is always equipped with the well-known 3.5-liter V6. Once started as a Toyota block, but taken firmly in hand by Lotus and fitted with a supercharger. A fine powerhouse that especially likes revving. The six-pitter produces 400 hp (298 kW) and 420 Nm of torque. With that, the Lotus Emira sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 290 km/h. Excellent grades.

“Lotus probably knows how to mask that weight perfectly, right?”

What about weight of the Lotus Emira?

True Lotus fans may have to “shift gears” a bit to accept that this Emira is nowhere near a first- or second-generation Elise in terms of weight. New safety requirements and richer equipment increase vehicle weight. In its lightest form, the Lotus Emira weighs 1,405 kilograms. By comparison, that’s almost twice as much as a first-generation Elise. Still, one should not see this Emira as a successor to the Elise. No, the Emira, like the Evora, is more of a GT model from Lotus. By the way, not many people also know that the Lotus Evora also had a weight of about 1,400 kilograms.

Lotus Emira V6: finally driving in the Netherlands! – REVIEW – AutoRAI TV

Lotus Emira - yellow

Weight masking

And hello, it is Lotus though. So Lotus probably knows how to mask that weight perfectly, right? To ask the question is to answer the question. Again, a resounding yes. In fact, it is particularly clever of Lotus how they manage to push that weight into the background. Riding in the Emira is a great experience.

I feel a connection

You really feel connected to the car, like the famous blue inhabitants in the blockbuster Avatar can make a connection with everything around them. You can read and write with this Lotus. At Lotus, they are masters at developing fine steering with matching suspension. The Emira is no exception. Remarkably, this Lotus still has hydraulic steering, which gives you as a driver excellent feedback on all inputs and information from the road surface. Lotus supplies Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tires as standard, while Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber is optional in combination with the Lotus Drivers Pack.

Lotus Emira on a polder road

Tour or Sport chassis

The car has two chassis set-ups. Mode Tour is tuned for daily road use, delivering the optimal blend of Lotus’ dynamic performance and handling with an emphasis on comfort. For the Dutch road network and polder roads the better choice. The Sports tune is available with the optional Lotus Drivers Pack and offers a slightly stiffer suspension for enhanced dynamic capabilities. Those who can be found on the track with regularity should opt for this. Those who use the Emira as a daily driver would be wise to opt for Tour.

“Feeling wise, the Emira could also have 500 hp without going too crazy.”

400 hp? It could easily have 500 hp

In addition, the suspension is extremely communicative without making the car feel nervous. There is a nice balance in it. Those who play with the gas will notice that the rear end is agile. A drift is a snap. Do know what you are doing, then. All 400 horsepower of the V6 engine is usable, even in the Netherlands. We drove the Emira on the highway and on polder roads and everywhere you get your due as a helmsman. 400 hp is not sickeningly fast, just a fine amount of power. Feelingly, the Emira could also have 500 hp without going too crazy. He has more up his sleeve.

Lotus Emira - side

Lotus Emira with AMG four-cylinder

Lotus also supplies the Emira with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from technical partner AMG. This powerplant with 360 hp and 430 Nm has an eight-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission, a big difference from the six-speed manual transmission (possibly robotized) in the V6 variant. For the Dutch market, the four-cylinder is perhaps the most important power source, as the difference in CO2 emissions is large: 258 g/km for the V6 and 199 g/km for the AMG four-cylinder. In the Netherlands, that makes a big difference in BPM. The AMG engine has much more in store, by the way, because in the A 45 S, the four-pitter kicks up to 421 hp. Lotus, however, must stick to 360 hp. Still good for a 0-100 time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 283 km/h.

Dutch prize Lotus Emira

In the Netherlands, the Lotus Emira with 2.0 AMG power unit has a target price of 100,000 euros and the V6 has a target price of 130,000 euros. The First Edition with V6 even kicks it up to 150,000 euros. Nice huh, 51,805 euros in BPM? Lotus kicks off with an Emira Coupe; a Lotus Emira Roadster will follow in just under two years. A car like the Emira happily sells itself. His looks capture the imagination. Those who ordered a Ferrari may be scratching their heads behind the ears at the sight of the Emira.

Aluminum chassis

The Lotus Emira has a newly developed chassis of extruded and bonded aluminum. The car is 4,412 mm long, 1,895 mm wide and only 1,255 mm high. The wheelbase is 2,575 mm. Those who see him stand for a moment. Because this device looks fantastic. It is full of beautiful details, including the interior.

Interior Lotus Emira

In the Emira’s interior, we detect a 10.25-inch touchscreen combined with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The design of the displays was designed exclusively by Lotus. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are integrated as standard. To reduce development costs, several components come from other Geely products. For example, you will also find the steering wheel in a Lynk&Co 01, as well as the levers behind the steering wheel. The start button with red cover is copied from Lamborghini, but it does give a special feeling every time you start or turn off the car, and that’s worth something, too.

A Lotus that is also practical

For a Lotus, the Emira is extremely practical. The car has two central cup holders – what a luxury! – With a phone pocket in between. Door compartments accommodate a 500 ml bottle. It even has a glove box, an armrest between the seats with USB and 12V ports. Grocery shopping with the Emira? No problem! Luggage or other large items can be stored behind the two seats (208 liters) or in the luggage compartment behind the engine. In this space (151 liters) fits a standard flight case or a set of golf clubs. Small note: the rear luggage compartment can carry a maximum of 50 kilograms.

“Lotus remembers very well what is meant by a nice game of steer.”

Conclusion Lotus Emira review

Then the question: is it still a real Lotus? Absolute! But according to the new concept. Pure driving in the mix of luxury and comfort. Admit it: that’s really not a nasty cocktail. But gone are the days when a Lotus weighs less than 800 kilograms. Get used to it. Lotus is becoming more mainstream. But fortunately, at Lotus, they still know very well what is meant by a game of fine steering. And then those looks! Perhaps the Lotus Emira will be the bargain of the century. Especially in a popping color.