Automatic testThe Lotus Emira V6 First Edition looks like a sports car weighing several tons, but costs less than a ton – at least in Germany and Belgium. However, the pain of the Dutch BPM of 50,000 euros is largely mitigated by the driving comfort and good performance.
The rear-wheel drive Emira is the first new Lotus in over a decade. So it’s no surprise that journalists and Lotus fans expect a lot from this model. We attract enough attention in the bright yellow Emira we drove. Not only because of the color of the symbol, but also because of the association with similar Ferraris. This is mainly due to the large air vents on the side, but also due to the concept of the center of the engine and the front and back are well designed. Well, especially the rear, because the front is too ordinary in our opinion. However, the design language of later Evija is well executed here.
Lots of action
Inside, Lotus aficionados over six feet tall will breathe a sigh of relief. Finally a car in which they can sit comfortably without the gear lever hitting their knees or developing a hunchback from under the roof. It’s just a pity that the headrests are so low and cannot be adjusted. But apart from the difficult exit due to the wide sill and the short distance of the road surface, you don’t have to make many sacrifices when it comes to practicality. Or it must be the wide rear window pillars that severely restrict the right rear view, but almost all mid-engine cars suffer from this.
The handling is top notch
In general use, the most surprising thing about Lotus is how comfortable it is. Bumps and bumps are generously absorbed and removed and the spacious workspace makes you feel like you’re in a McLaren. Performance is good, the engine is quick and efficient and will take you where you send it – whether it’s on the circuit or the Côte d’Azur. You would find it almost comfortable until you turn the wheel. Because then the Emira reacts like the proverbial kart when changing direction and you know immediately that you are in a Lotus. We expected more feedback from the front wheels. You don’t have enough information about the area than with competitors such as the Alpine A110 and the 718 Cayman.
290 km / h
The brakes are excellent and the gear changes are familiar: a short lever with at least short strokes, as we know from cars like the Lotus Elise and Mazda MX-5. The Toyota-derived 400 hp V6 offers good performance on paper: acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 290 km/h are not figures to be ashamed of, but still the restriction does not feel at all. bright The high torque expected by the compressor at low speeds is also disappointing, but it could also be that we have been driving electric cars a lot lately.
The engine is loud and that’s great when you’re going for a ride, but it can get tiring over long distances. It’s not surprising, because the 3.5-liter tank rests on the back of your neck, separated only by a plastic window. In Sport and Track mode, the engine volume increases slightly and the engine emits an artfully composed grunt of anger when releasing the accelerator pedal. The engine comes to life by pressing the red start button, which, like a Lamborghini, is under some kind of safety.
In terms of build quality, comfort and level of finish, this Lotus is incredible. We see a lot of electronics, feel the alcantara and smell the beautiful leather. And there’s even Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a touchscreen on board! Vinegar whiners will say that the Drive Selector buttons and the steering wheel, among other things, come from Lynk & Co, an electronics brand from China that is also owned by Geely. But that’s just the benefit of the big manufacturers, they always have a barrel of parts they can grab.
An annoying rhythm
We also heard an annoying whine at idle speed, possibly from one of the coolers, but that may be typical. The same goes for the driver’s side window, which decided to reopen on its own several times when we wanted to close it. Other tips about the interior concern the steering wheel and its rounded corners. You have to love that and it doesn’t add safety when you start skating because it doesn’t fit easily in your hands. We’re also not crazy about the Alcantara on the steering wheel, but that’s a matter of taste. In any case, it looks slick.
In terms of driving, the 1405 kg Lotus is probably too average. The result of the choice to emphasize daily use. The car has little faults, but it does not succeed anywhere, except in terms of chassis. That is so good that you hope to get more power. In our opinion, the Toyota engine lacks the excitement of the Cayman’s six-cylinder, the gear is too long to call the car surprisingly fast and we expected more feedback from the steering wheel. But for a manufacturer with a small budget, it is good that they have made a mature sports car, which also looks amazing.
A BPM penalty of almost half a ton makes the six-cylinder an expensive option. Perhaps therefore it is wise to wait and see how the four-cylinder variant fares, which is equipped with the 2.0 liter Mercedes A45 AMG engine. This version will have a power of 360 hp, but sometimes it can give a more interesting character. The standard V6 will soon be available from around 130,000 euros. The First Edition we drove costs 149,480 euros and at Lotus they hope to be able to put the four-cylinder under a ton. Both versions are also available with an automatic transmission.
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