[HOT] : Lotus Emira, the Alpine A110S and Porsche 718 Cayman should they be wary?

With the Emira, Lotus opens a new era, the one desired by its new owner Geely. The small manufacturer of Hethel, who aspires to become big with the views of the product plan to come, has put the dishes in the big ones for the presentation of the Emira, the last sports car of the thermal propulsion brand. The next models will be electric like the Evija hypercar. If the Emira is strongly inspired by the design of this one, its engines are taken first of all Exige and Evora that it replaces, that is to say the compressed 3.5L V6 of Toyota origin which develops here 406 hp (400 hp). In a second step, Lotus will install the 4 cylinder 2.0L turbo M139 from AMG, new technical partner, in a version of 365 hp (360 hp). The only annoying subject is of size for a Lotus, it is the mass of the Emira: 1405 kg (DIN) in its lightest version, that is to say 80 kg more than the Evora GT410 of 1325 kg (DIN) !

What do you think Colin?

Lotus has spared no efforts to “unbox” theEmir (pronounce “Eh-meer-ah”). The brand has brought out the models that have marked its history: Elan, Spirit, Elise S1 and the Formula 1 Type 72, for the classics. Suffice to say that Lotus DNA flows in theEmir, born in a well-stocked Chinese cradle, with more than 100 million pounds of investments to carry out the modernization of the sites of Hethel and Norwich (strategic plan “Vision80”). TheEmir has the heavy task of replacing the 3 flagship models of Lotus, Elise, Demands and Evora, sold over 55,000 copies in total.

L’Emir (Type 131) was developed on an all-new lightweight bonded extruded aluminum chassis, a pioneering technology initiated with theElise S1 (read here) and Lotus masters perfectly, to the point that it’s an intrinsic part of the DNA of its sports cars. This chassis is manufactured in a brand new factory – Lotus Advanced Structures – in Norwich, a few miles from Hethel. This architecture – suspended by double wishbones and coil-sprung shocks at all four corners with front and rear anti-roll bars – made it possible to broadly repeat the sculpted design of theEvija (read here) : flowing surfaces, clean characteristic lines, prominent leading edge of the hood with outlet vents (to guide air flow over the car and optimize aerodynamics), cabin narrowed and tapered towards the rear, sculpted doors, vents cut into the muscular rear hips.

Full-LED vertical headlights come standard, with a fender-inspired dual-blade design. At the rear, at each end is an outlet vent to exhaust air from the wheel arch. Each corner has a flat C-shaped LED light cluster connected by a thin brake light. Underneath is a black section housing two tailpipes on either side of the license plate and with an air diffuser below to help support. The dimensions of theEmir are 4.412m long, 1.895m wide, 1.225m high and 2.575m wheelbase. Luggage can be stowed behind the two seats (208 liters) or in the trunk behind the engine (151 liters).

The rims are 20 inches in diameter. They will be fitted with specific tires for theEmir, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport series or Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 as an option with the “Lotus Drivers” pack. The car has two defined chassis and suspension settings, Touring or Sport, regardless of the engine chosen: Touring for daily use on the road, offering dynamic performance / handling / comfort adjustment, Sport with the “Lotus Drivers” pack for a slightly stiffer suspension and improved dynamics. The steering is hydraulic and not electric.

Emirate?

L’Emir will be powered by two gasoline engines of your choice. At launch, the first cars will be available in a “First Edition” version, a limited series powered by the original compressed 3.5L V6. Toyota who equips them Demands and Evora. The power is fixed here at 406 hp (400 hp) and 430 Nm of torque, as on theEvora 400 (410 Nm), against 416 hp (410 hp) for the Requires 410 (read here) and Evora 410 (read here). From summer 2022, Lotus will have an additional technical partner, AMG la division performance de Mercedes-Benz. L’Emir will be powered by the 2.0L M139 turbocharged four-cylinder engine whose power will be reduced by Lotus so as not to encroach on the V6 3.5L version. Mounted transversely, this engine has been modified with a new air intake system and a new exhaust. It will develop here 365 hp (360 hp). With this engine, CO2 emissions will start below 180 gr / km. Both versions will be available with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission for the V6 and a 7-speed DCT dual-clutch for theAMG.

In terms of performance, Lotus announces 0 to 100km / h in less than 4.5 seconds and a Vmax of 290 km / h, without further details. Needless to say that we expected more values, understand that the figures communicated relate only to the version V6 3.5L. With 1405 kg on the scale (against 1415 kg for the Evora 400), theEmir displays a power-to-weight ratio of 3.5 kg / hp. Its two great rivals, the Alpine A110S (read here) and Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 (read here) are close. The slight A110S of 1114 kg (DIN) for 292 hp / 320 Nm reaches 3.8 kg / hp and the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 load 1405 kg (DIN) for 400 hp / 420 Nm is 3.5 kg / hp. Respectively, the 0 to 100 km / h and the Vmax are 4.4 sec and 260 km / h (limited) for the French, 4.5 sec and 293 km / h for the German. English Emir, don’t upset his world and that’s a shame. We would have liked a little more daring on the part of Lotus who has already forgotten his miss at the launch of theEvora which posted 1380 kg (DIN) for 280 hp, too heavy for the fervent “Lotussians”. The new Emir does not do better thanEvora 400 (read here) presented in 2015 credited with 4.2 sec from 0 to 100 km / h and 300 km / h in Vmax…

Modern interior

The biggest breakthrough, theEmir offers it with the interior of the passenger compartment, especially compared to Elise and Demands : ergonomics, design, quality of materials, the attention to detail and integrated cutting-edge technologies are obvious. Details have been added in tribute to the legacy and sporting success of Lotus : the positioning of the manual gear lever which echoes that of the iconic Esprit, the semi-exposed linkage visible at the base of the center console on V6 models with manual transmission, as on Elise and Demands. Finally let us quote the red protective cover on the on / off button which recalls the… Lamborghini.

The specific seats of theEmir have been designed to combine lateral support when cornering with comfort for long distance journeys. There’s a four-way power adjustment as standard, with the option to upgrade to a premium sports seat with 12-way power adjustment for driver and passenger. The flattened sports steering wheel is also unique to theEmir which features the latest driver and driving aids: keyless start, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, power folding exterior mirrors, rear parking sensors (with optional front sensors), dimming mirror automatic, launch control (“Lotus Drivers” pack), an anti-theft vehicle tracker, anti-collision system, fatigue alert, information on traffic signs, lane departure warning, lane change assistance, cross traffic alert back, etc …

Access to the car’s infotainment system is via a central 10.25-inch touchscreen, with an additional 12.3-inch TFT driver display behind the steering wheel. All content exclusive to Lotus was designed and developed by an internal team. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are integrated as standard. The premium 10-channel audio system comes from the British brand KEF.

Six exterior paint colors are available at launch: Hethel Yellow, Shadow Gray, Magma Red, Nimbus Gray, Dark Verdant and Seneca Blue. Seven interior colors are available: Black Nappa Leather, Red Nappa Leather, Gray Nappa Leather, Beige Nappa Leather, Black Alcantara with Gray Stitching, Black Alcantara with Red Stitching and Black Alcantara with Yellow Stitching. There are five wheel choices – 10 cast spokes, 10 gloss black spokes, silver forged V spokes, gloss black forged V spokes, and diamond forged V spokes – with four colors of brake calipers – black, red, yellow and silver.

Prices start under £ 60,000 (€ 72,000), deliveries will start from Spring 2022.

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