Supercars don’t necessarily have to be powered by gas to stay super, and automakers like Lotus have noticed. Tesla cars have continued to break EV standards each year, with some performance models reaching 60 mph in under 2 seconds. A racing prototype of the Ford Mustang Mach-E also debuted last year, capable of a whopping 1,400 horsepower. So, Lotus made a bold decision with its Emira model.
To keep up with its rivals, Lotus killed off its entire 2021 lineup of internal combustion vehicles. In a new press release, Lotus still proudly showcases the Emira, its last gas-powered model. How will the automaker’s plans for an electric future affect the Emira moving forward?
The Lotus Emira is the end of an era
Upon its launch, the Lotus Emira will have a supercharged V8 engine that can produce up to 400 horsepower. Autoweek makes this assumption because the same engine rests inside the Lotus Evora. Both manual and automatic transmissions are on offer, the latter of which can be a dual-clutch. Its top speed is 180 mph, and it can jump to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds.
In the summer of 2022, drivers can option the Emira with a brand-first AMG-sourced turbo engine. Because it’s the smaller option, Autoweek speculates that this one will make around 360 horsepower. However, this turbo engine option has made upwards of 400 horsepower before in Mercedes-Benz models.
The AMG-powered Lotus Emira is only available with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Additionally, the automaker worked with AMG to create a special exhaust and intake system exclusively for this model. It should handle its lightweight aluminum chassis well, giving it a curb weight of just under 3,100 pounds.
It’s clear that the Lotus Emira’s swooping body lines are directly inherited from the Lotus Evija, Britain’s first ground-breaking EV hypercar. The Evija is predictably faster despite being heavier, reaching 62 mph in under 3 seconds. Its top speed is 200 mph, and it’s decently efficient with 215 miles of range.
The Emira’s limited cabin space only makes it useful for joyriding, but that shape also makes it more aerodynamic. The cabin will still be decently accommodated with cupholders and a big infotainment screen. We’ll likely learn more about all its convenience features closer to its U.S. release in the spring.
Future Lotus EVs
According to Car and Driver, Lotus has already revealed its plans to create four additional EVs. A larger SUV is expected to debut in 2022, and a coupe is coming the year after. A small SUV will make an appearance in 2024, and a dedicated EV sports car should arrive in 2026.
The cars will be built at Lotus’s factory in Wuhan, China, which will eventually be able to produce 150,000 units annually. All three of the consumer models are based on Lotus’s new Premium Architecture platform. It will be able to support an 800-volt charging infrastructure and rocket certain cars to 62 mph in under 2 seconds.
Will the Lotus Emira eventually get the EV treatment?
The Lotus Emira is the first vehicle to debut under Vision80, the automaker’s new long-term branding strategy. Managing director Matt Windle told Autoweek that the project’s goal is to envision Lotus’s future in 10 years. The automaker hopes to develop products, purchasing solutions, and cars that will still be relevant to customers in 2028.
It’s hard to imagine a world where gas-powered vehicles aren’t produced anymore, but several automakers want to make it a reality. Should the majority of its customers demand it, Lotus will undoubtedly take that step.
Additionally, it might not make sense from a manufacturing standpoint to purchase different drivetrain components necessary to produce a single model. Even if the Lotus Emira does become electric someday, it certainly won’t detract from its irresistibly stylish and powerful image.