Two chassis settings will be offered: the standard Tour, which allows a softer ride, and the stiffer Sport, which will be offered with an optional Lotus Driver’s Pack. This includes launch control and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres in place of the standard Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport rubber.
The Emira doesn’t feature any active aerodynamics but instead produces balanced downforce between the front and rear that provides more grip in corners while retaining precise, predictable handling.
“The Emira has a wider track than any recent Lotus road car, enhancing stability, delivering exceptional roadholding and giving the sensation of a very low centre of gravity,” said Gavan Kershaw, Lotus’s director of vehicle attributes. “It’s a true Lotus sports car that builds on the legacy of the Elise, Exige and Evora.”
While the Emira is around 5kg heavier than the Evora, at 1405kg, it has still undergone a series of weight-saving measures to compensate for the significant increase in technology and features that have been introduced, which would otherwise have made the car notably heavier.
The vehicle architecture is constructed at a new factory in Norwich called Lotus Advanced Structures in a more automated process, before being transported the 10 miles to the company’s base in Hethel. Here, the car is built in a semi-automated fashion in a new 12,000m2 factory that was previously known on site as the ‘skeleton building’. It had sat incomplete for a decade in the wake of the failed attempt to kick-start Lotus’s reinvention under Malaysian firm Proton.
The total investment in UK production facilities by Lotus now totals £100 million, and includes a new automated paint shop at Hethel. “I really want to take us to the next level of quality,” said Windle, adding that there will be a greater “consistency of build” between Emira examples, thanks to the modernised production processes, while still retaining an authentic hand finish to the cars.
Perceived quality will also be significantly improved over recent Lotus cars, Windle said, thanks to the rigid standardisation of key aspects, including paint finish.