2023 Lotus Emira merges the past and future of Lotus, worthy of ICE’s ‘last hurrah’

Lotus breaks off from its tradition as it unveiled its final internal combustion engine (ICE) sports car, the 2023 Lotus Emira. The mid-engine sports car comes as a successor to the Evora GT designed in a whole new platform, It comes after a £100 million investment at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Hethel, near Norwich.

Moreover, Emira is available in two different engines. It is initially powered by a Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine, which is used in the Evora GT. This offers a six-speed manual transmission and six-speed automatic transmission. However, this has been detuned slightly from 416 HP to 400 HP and delivers 317 lb-ft of torque.

The second option is a version with an AMG 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that comes with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. And like the V6, it has been detuned from AMG’s 416 HP to 360 HP. Lotus claims that it can accelerate from 0-62 MPH in under 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 180 MPH.

This British automaker’s last hurrah for ICE is the first brand-new series production in 12 years created using Lotus Sports Car Architecture (SCA).

New architecture under the skin for two adaptive trims

Built on the new Sports Car Architecture (SCA) developed by Lotus, Emira is constructed using the bonded aluminum extrusion technology similar to its predecessors. This makes the lightest version to weigh 3,097 pounds, a little heavier than the outgoing Evora. And it stretches to 173.7 inches long. 75.6 inches wide.

An option of two trims, Tour and Sports model, is available for Emira. The Tour model is designed for a more relaxed ride and spirited driving and commuting. Thanks to its softer springs and its 20-inch alloys with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport rubber. A whole different Sport model is fitted with a stiffer spring and grippier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Although both trims come with hydraulic steering, the Sport model is part of a Lotus Drivers Pack.

Nevertheless, the British manufacturer retained standard Lotus practice like multi-link setups front and rear. It is also equipped with standard wheels at 20-inches, and brakes are steel.

Being the first Lotus to offer active driver-assistance features, part of its optional ADAS package includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeps assist, and a driver attention alert system.

A new representation of the old Lotus’ interiors

Even with incorporating the old design from the outgoing Lotus models, Emira still represents new dynamic interiors. Getting a major upgrade from the old Lotus. A greeting from the interiors is a 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with navigation. A standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support complement the KEF Uni-Q premium audio system.

Being the first Lotus to offer active driver-assistance features, part of its optional ADAS package includes adaptive cruise control, lane assist, and a driver attention alert system. It is also a keyless start sports car equipped with multiple 12V and USB outlets and a rain-sensing wiper. When it comes to comfort, it is adorned with accommodating door pockets and cupholders.

The two-seat design gives way to 7.4 cubic feet of space that sits behind for storage and 5.3 cubic feet of storage behind the mid-mounted engine.

A slice from the Lotus’ all-electric future

Emira has drawn inspiration from Lotus’ first electric car, Evija. It features large side air intakes and boomerang vents between the hood and front fenders. The latter does the extracting of air from the cooling system.

A flaunt of Seneca Blue has been graced all over Emira’s bodywork aside from its blacked-out roof. Partly one of the six-colour palettes that include two shades of grey, red, yellow, and dark green. The wheels, top-spec diamond-cut, forged V-spoke items, are available in gloss black finish or plain silver.

2023 Emira will kick off production next spring at the automaker’s new facility at Hethel, United Kingdom. The first cars are scheduled to hit U.S dealers in the fall, and it is priced around $85, 000 in its first entry-level, the four-cylinder engine.

Before the British automaker goes on all-electric, Emira is confirmed to be the last internal combustion engine sports car of Lotus.

In 2017, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Malaysia’s Etika Automotive partnered to acquire the business, with Geely retaining a controlling stake.

Production is set at the automaker’s new facility in Hethel, United Kingdom, and the price is expected around $85,000.


As Lotus embraces itself for an all-electric future, a break off from its tradition deserves recognition. 2023 Emira is an innovative way to send off its long tradition. The last petrol-powered car of Lotus goes out with a refined power knitted with utmost sophistication. But, most importantly, it represents a hallmark of some of the brand’s traditions and a merger of what the future looks like for Lotus.

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All photos used are credit to the owners.