Lotus is building a brand new, old-fashioned sportscar. It will be fully unveiled on 6 July, and it will take the name ‘Emira’. (Pronounced ‘e-meer-a’, FYI.)
Why old-fashioned? Because it won’t be an electric sportscar, nor will it be a hybrid sportscar. It will be the last combustion-engined sportscar Lotus will ever build; the Elise, Exige and Evora are all being axed, don’t forget.
This Emira will have a lot riding on its Evora-sized shoulders, then. Lotus says the new Emira will get a choice of petrol engines including a “highly efficient” unit that’ll be “tuned to help deliver that distinctive Lotus experience”.
Lotus also says the new Emira will sit on an entirely new flexible lightweight aluminium platform internally referenced as ‘Elemental’, and feature a design inspired by its heavyweight sibling, the all-electric Evija hypercar. New boss Matt Windle wants the Emira to drastically increase production volume, from 1,500 cars a year to 5,000 and beyond.
‘Elemental’ is just one of four new platforms Lotus intends on building that’ll spawn an entirely new range of cars. The second is the ‘Extreme’ platform, which later this year manifests as a 2,000hp quad-motor electric hypercar called the Evija. Yeah, that one; the one Lotus claims will do 0-300km/h in nine seconds.
There’ll also be a lightweight electric sportscar built in collaboration with Alpine, meaning two of the world’s lightweightiest carmakers joining forces. This one’s called ‘E-Sports’ – no, not sim racing – and Windle wants this Lotus to weigh no more than a petrol-engined equivalent.
Finally – and assuming all this platform talk hasn’t sent you into your own horizontal platform – is the ‘Evolution’ base that’ll spearhead a new range of ‘lifestyle’ Lotus cars. “These cars will catapult Lotus into a new era of higher retail volumes and significant revenues,” apparently.
Smells a lot like a Lotus SUV to us. An electric Lotus SUV.
As mentioned up top, the Emira will mark the end of petrol-engined Lotus cars. It’ll live on into the late 2020s according to Windle, and every car Lotus builds after it will be electric. “Our transformation is well under way,” he said, “and this year it really begins to accelerate through a product-led offensive.
“Evija goes into production, Emira is launched, and a new suite of dedicated vehicle architectures is confirmed to further catapult Lotus into new markets, new segments and new volume territory,” he added.
Reckon Lotus can make this new plan stick?
STORY Vijay Pattni