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The last ICE-powered Lotus is here

'The Era of Emira' begins today.

The Lotus Emira is essentially a replacement for the Elise, Exige, and Evora in Lotus’ lineup, and, as the headline states, the final internal-combustion model for the company. The Emira is also the Hethel’s first truly new sportscar in over a decade and looking at the pictures, it is a gem, let me tell you! I, for one, cannot find a single negative in the Emira. Just gorgeous all around.

Of course, the Emira has the Evija and current Elise and Exige to thank for its design language, as the front has vertical LED headlights that meet with the interestingly-positioned hood intakes. The side scoop is a more-or-less mirror image of those found on the Evija and looks very dramatic indeed. Switch to the rear, you get slim, J-shaped (or C-shaped) taillights, a vent on each side, and a prominent diffuser with a pair of round exhaust tips. Simply put: it looks beautiful.

The 2022 Lotus Emira is based on the firm’s Lotus Sports Car Architecture, a completely new platform but still uses the same boned extruded aluminum construction as the Elise and Evora. It stands at 173.7-inches long, making it almost two feet longer than the Elise and half an inch longer than the Evora, and about an inch longer than the Porsche Cayman.

The car has two defined chassis and suspension settings – Tour is tuned for everyday road use, delivering the optimum blend of Lotus dynamic performance and handling with a more comfortable ride while Sports is available with the optional Lotus Drivers Pack and provides a slightly stiffer suspension set-up for enhanced dynamic capability and feel.

Continuing with the all-important measurements, it is 74.6-inches wise, seven wider than the Elise and two wider than the Evora and Cayman. On the engine front, the Emira can be had with either a Toyota-sourced supercharged, 3.5L, V6 motor (available in the limited-edition First Edition model for now) with either a 6-speed AT/MT and in the next few months, Lotus will also give the Emira, an option for a turbocharged, 2.0L, in-line-4, coming straight from Mercedes-AMG which will send power via the AMG’s 8-speed DCT unit. Lotus says the Emira will make between 365 and 405hp depending on the engine.

All wheels are 20-inches in diameter, and as standard, they will be fitted with a Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tyre, while a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 is a cost option available with the Lotus Drivers Pack. Both tyres have been specially developed for the Emira by their manufacturers.

Switch to the inside, you have a driver-focused cabin, but way nicer and prettier than any other Lotus ever made. The brand says it has improved everything from build and material quality to storage space, something that is visible considering that Lotus has spent long hours on placing those cup-holders where they are, currently.

A standard 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster and a 10.3-inch centrally-mounted touchscreen head tech game, with a new operating system designed and developed in-house for the latter, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. There are few physical buttons in the form of the climate knobs and a couple of related buttons, a drive mode switch, a volume knob, and the engine start button with a flip-up cover.

The legendary carmaker says the Emira was built keeping in mind the driver’s view out of the car because it says many will take the Emira to the track, and so, the driving position is supercar-like. Four-way electrically adjustable seats are standard, whereas the 12-way adjustment is up for grabs.

Also unique to the Emira is the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with metallic spoke detail and integrated controls. The interior features ambient and wraparound lighting as well as map lights.

On the tech front, standard features include cruise control, keyless go, rear parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers. Adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors, among others, can be availed, too.

The 2022 Emira will be built at an all-new factory in Hethel, England, featuring a robotic paint shop and a semi-automated body assembly set up as part of a $138 million investment. Prices will start at less than £60,000 (less than €72,000) or around $80,000. Oh, and yes, it sounds wonderful. A proper farewell to the ICE-powered Lotus cars, then.

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Chirag Khanna

I can look at the headlights of a car and can tell which car it is. I am an automobile and motorsports (specializes in F1) geek, for starters. For the main-course, I write.

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