First Look: Lotus Emira – can this 400hp AMG-engined sports car rival the BMW M2 and Porsche Cayman?

First Look: Lotus Emira – can this 400hp AMG-engined sports car rival the BMW M2 and Porsche Cayman?

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Meet the new £60k, 400bhp Lotus Emira. Yep, it’s another Lotus rebirth. But thanks to the exciting new Emira, this one feels very real. And there’s a real shock: the Emira is propelled entirely by little explosions that happen in an engine. It isn’t even a hybrid. And doesn’t have an electric future, either. Therefore, it surely qualifies as an instant classic. But will this £60k two-seat 400bhp sports car be able to see off the tough competition from Porsche’s Cayman, the BMW M2, Alpine A110 and Toyota Supra? Well, here’s Magazine’s Ollie Marriage with all the info you need to know about it. Lotus Evija First Drive : TopGear.com Electric Awards 2021: RETROspective: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

hello and welcome to lotus where there is plenty of shiny new kit around they’re investing a hundred million pounds at hetel the majority of it in this new production facility a production facility which as you might be able to hear in the background is so new they are still building it now new production facility needs to be building a new car ah you’re thinking the new 2000 horsepower all electric avaya but no weird though it sounds you don’t go to this much trouble for just 130 cars that is being hand assembled in another building over there it’s also a two million quid hardly a car for the masses this however just might be this is the new emira it’s inspired by the avaya but it’s not electric at all no plug-in potential no hybrid horsepower just pure petrol and with prices starting at 60 000 pounds you could have 33 of these for the price of one avaya but let’s drink this in shall we see what you get from lotus for cayman money you don’t unfortunately get the avaya’s big tunnels through the side and nor do you get active aero because this is not a pure track attacker you do however get led lights a choice of six body colors you can have your brake calipers painted in four different colors the wheels you have a choice of five so you’ll find something to match your shoes just maybe not these ones but one of the main reasons they built this facility is because they need to build the cars better a leap forward in terms of fit and finish is promised better materials better technology these cannot come out smelling like glue and the best place to judge that is in there right let’s jump into the emira and first things first how easy was that no massive high sill no sort of hunching your knees to your chin as you get in that’s all really good and when you’re in here this design is really good it’s just clear and clean and there’s not too much going on it feels well organized now i should point out i’m sitting about 20 mil higher than i will be in a production car because these seats aren’t finalized yet steering wheel driving position on the hole though feels really encouraging straight away lovely alcantara steering wheel not too sure about the squared off bits at the top and bottom but the quality the fit and finish feels really good you’ve got a sort of lamborghini style red cover for your start stop button here it feels nice the materials the stitching it all feels high quality in terms of gadgets to play with you’ve got cruise control and keyless nothing that’s going to set the world a light in that way you’ve got a drive mode selected down here and you’ve got two digital displays a 12 inch display here which you control from the steering wheel and a 10 and a quarter inch touchscreen there that features android auto or apple carplay as standard while you can also have optionally a 10 speaker kef system and i shouldn’t think lotus has ever allowed more speakers into a car before but more than all of that you’ve got quite a lot of storage there’s two cup holders here more storage under there and a big door pocket plus proper luggage storage back here you’ve got 200 liters back here another 151 in the boot big enough lotus claims for a set of golf clubs if anyone ever uses golf clubs as a measurement these days right that’s quite enough about practicality let’s talk performance look we’ve come out to the track all versions of the mirror are obviously mid-engined and rear-wheel drive only but there’s more under here than just a toyota three and a half liter v6 that will be the first engine available it’s a three and a half liter supercharged engine and all lotus have said at the moment is going to have between 360 and 400 horsepower but that’s going to mean it’s good for not 60 and four and a half seconds and about a 180 mile an hour top end and you’ll be able to have that with either a manual or automatic gearbox but there’s another option you can also have a twin clutch gearbox and if you have that the engine doesn’t come from toyota it doesn’t come from anyone else you might expect no it comes from amg that’s right lotus has started up a technical partnership with amg that’s going to see the emira fitted with the 2 litre turbocharged engine from the a45 now they’re being a bit coy at the moment they’re not saying whether that’s the full house 415 horsepower engine or the lesser 381 horsepower engine but either way that’s a very high tech piece of kit to put in the back of this new lotus the only thing is it’s likely to be a bit of a one-off partnership with amg because lotus has said this will be the last car they fit with an internal combustion engine it’s almost like they’ve sort of gone to the to the bosses and gone please please can we have one last great engine in the car and they have suspension down here you can choose between tour and sport and obviously sport is that bit stiffer all versions though come with hydraulic steering and we like hydraulic steering it’s unusual these days most people have switched to electric racks because they’re more efficient but hydraulic racks have better feel we can guarantee already pretty much that this car will steer beautifully it’s not long either it’s only just under four and a half meters long and that means that it’s going to feel nimble and wieldy on track and it’s quite wide as well and the width means that we’ll help roll control and all the other stuff we like when we’re driving it but it will also mean that at nearly two meters wide you’re going to be at risk on narrow b roads of clattering the cat’s eyes and things this car is as wide as a bentley continental gt what i need here is some sort of size comparison just to show you that here’s a car you’d never say was too big it’s the original series 1 lotus elise and look at the size difference between these two there’s 25 years of growth for you but also a quarter of a century of better safety technology luxury and everything else that goes with it and that explains why this one is nearly twice the weight of that one but still in the grand scheme of things 1400 kilos that’s pretty competitive but i wanted the elise here for another couple of reasons firstly to point out that this is the car that pioneered the bonded aluminium structure that has underpinned every lotus ever since and still underpins the emira but don’t go thinking that means the emira uses an old evora or exege platform same technology but all new underneath and built in a brand new facility secondly the elise has almost single-handedly supported the brand for the last 25 years if it hadn’t come along i don’t know where lotus would be now or even if it would still be around lotus needs the amira to reignite the brand in the same way that cars like this did to remind people of what’s gone before as much as what’s coming up now the amira’s design is forward-looking but it’s technical package unashamedly retro lotus themselves describe it as a brand new old-fashioned sports car and you know what that’s fine tempted the first cars land next spring and they land everywhere it’s a global car giving it the best chance to tackle the toyota supra bmw m2 and porsche cayman lotus want to sell 5000 a year now that’s chicken feed by porsche’s standards but numbers that will make a real difference here and help to keep that new production line humming you

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