The new Lotus Emira borrows styling from the electric Evija supercar.
From the ground up, the 2023 Lotus Emira follows up on former mainstays of the lineup like the now-dead Elise, Exige and Evora. Now, the new Sports Car Architecture underpins a more spacious sports car with a wider track — with the idea being that this is a more daily-friendly model.
Don’t worry, though, this car hasn’t become a softie, at least on paper. You still get a Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter supercharged V-6 as one of the engine options. It makes 400 horsepower here (slightly less than the old Evora GT to comply with emissions regulations). That should return a 0-60 time in the 4 to 4.5 second range, and give the Lotus Emira a top speed of 180 mph. That engine mates up to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
When it goes into production in mid-2022, though, buyers will also have another option: a Mercedes-AMG M139 2.0-liter engine. This is the same powerplant that can be tweaked up to a whopping 416 horsepower — making it one of the most powerful four-pots in current production. Here, though, Lotus tuned its entry-level option back to a still-healthy 360 horsepower. Like Mercedes’ own AMG variants with that engine, this powerplant only mates up to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. If you’re looking to follow Lotus’ lightness philosophy, then that 2.0-liter is the way to go. It shaves 110 pounds off the V-6’s curb weight.
The 2023 Lotus Emira still retains some enthusiast features like hydraulic power steering. The car still gets multi-link setups both front and rear, and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires as standard equipment. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s come as part of a package, should you want grippier rubber and stiffer springs.
The interior is a massive leap from the old Lotus
Of course, the 2023 Lotus Emira needs to actually innovate over its predecessors to gain more traction as a daily driver’s machine. Under the Seneca Blue body — just one of half a dozen available colors — the new interior doesn’t disappoint. Both the exterior and interior design draw heavily from the forthcoming electric Evija hypercar. Here, we see a 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster, as well as a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, which are more or less requirements for a modern sports car. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support comes standard, while you can also get a KEF Uni-Q premium audio system.
Keyless start, cruise control and rain-sensing wipers also come standard. Adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and a driver attention alert system are available as part of an assistance systems package. And on the comfort front, the 2023 Lotus Emira even brings cupholders — gasp! — accommodating door pockets and 7.4 cubic feet of space behind the seats for your storage needs. Behind the mid-mounted engine, you get a further 5.3 cubic feet of storage.
Again, 2023 Lotus Emira production will kick off around next spring, with the first cars set to hit U.S. dealers in the fall. Fortunately, with that four-cylinder engine coming in, we should see the Emira’s pricing start around $80,000, which is quite a bit lower than the old Evora’s starting point.