2024 Lotus Emira First Edition – A Standout in the Season of GOATs

It has been a very unique season in our country filled with vehicles representing the “Greatest Of All Time” for each manufacturer with deep pedigree. This all-new Lotus Emira maybe a completely new model, a premium junior mid-engine supercar, but it represents the finest and last of the dedicated non-electrified models for the brand and it is absolutely sensational! Priced above the all-new Nissan Z but under the GT-R and all other premium sportscars, the very sensual and handsome Lotus Emira showcases the very best Lotus interior ever combined with all the positive key characteristics than define the iconic brand.

Embodying all the best of its modern predecessors; the Elise, the Exige, and the Evora (where it sources once again the mighty and extremely reliable Toyota 3.5-liter V6 powerplant with intercooled Edelbrock EATON 1740 supercharger), the Emira instantly reminds the driver how special it is before even sitting behind the steering wheel and flipping the dramatic red cover open to reveal the ignition. The manual 6-speed gearshift mechanism and throttle actuator in the V6 (400 bhp @ 6800 rpm / 317 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm) engine bay are both exposed and celebrated.

Proportionally, the pure 2-seater Emira is ever so slightly larger than the 2+2 Evora. It uses the new Lotus Sports Car Architecture that builds on the pioneering Lotus bonded extruded aluminum chassis technology fabricated in an all-new facility – Lotus Advanced Structures – in Norwich. Unlike in the past though, there are no compromises in order to deliver the pure driving enjoyment. The previous Lotus cars always performed astoundingly well on the racetrack or when driven solo spiritedly but had a myriad of difficulties to adapt to from dated components to general passenger discomfort. You had to be a hardcore Lotus fan to accept its compromises and appreciate why these measures were taken to deliver the visceral dynamic performance on the road, making their cars truly an acquired taste for the most discerning and most passionate for the brand. This isn’t at all bad but it needs to be said nonetheless because Lotus has always meant more to enthusiasts. 

Lotus has made its mark in the auto industry because of its racing pedigree and reputation for producing phenomenal light weight sports cars with standard-setting precision and handling well before it was seen on the silver screen famously in 1977 as Roger Moore’s Lotus Esprit S1 Bond car that transformed into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me. With the Lotus Evora 400, we acknowledged and celebrated the pedigree and its own abilities but when it came to desirability though the enthusiasm took a turn. Ability and agility were not in question with the Evora 400 however its everyday usability combined with its lengthy interior compromises of dated equipment from switchgear to instrumentation, poor infotainment system, spotty fit and finish, ineffective rear seats, meager insulation, and general cabin discomforts in comparison to both direct and indirect competition made it a challenge to recommend beyond its core buyers.

That is all different with the Emira, especially in its First Edition trim. There are additional engine, suspension, transmission, and trim options available but for now Lotus Philippines chose to put its best reflection of the brand as you see it here with the glorious Tan Nappa leather interior and the new exterior signature British Racing Green retranslation: Dark Verdant Green.

Some key highlights that have transformed the interior to the very best Lotus has produced are the Volvo-sourced switchgear, the 560-watt 7-speaker 10-channel KEF premium sound system that features its signature Uni-QTM technology that supports the 10.25-inch infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, rear camera and parking sonar on both ends, 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, unique flat-bottomed squared-off sports steering wheel with metallic spoke detail and integrated controls, functional cup holders and extra door panel storage, a proper glovebox and center armrest with storage, and 208-liters of cargo space behind the seats and another 151-liters in a storage bay behind the engine. If you look carefully at the rear window, you will notice a gap between the end of the glass and above the rear trunk for extra engine cooling. 

The all-new full-LED lighting is great looking and functionally flawless. The fixed aerodynamics look great and become more effective as speed climbs above 120 km/h. The AP Racing® brakes (front 14.6-inch ventilated/drilled two-piece discs with fixed 4-piston calipers & rear 13.8-inch ventilated/drilled two-piece discs with fixed 4-piston calipers) are powerful but do feel a little wooden. The Emira’s electro-hydraulic steering system is beyond reproach, the feel, balance and precision will remind you why exotic sports cars are so desirable and tactile. The driver involvement is text-book Lotus in action and feel but in a whole new tasteful and wonderful environment. I do wish that Lotus included more configuration settings for the sharp instrumentation though, a traditional speedometer and tachometer are essential in completing the allure and functionality of the cockpit, I did not like the bar-style rev counter and large numerical display for speed. 

The beautiful Lotus Emira has tremendous speed and agility. The forged staggered aluminum 20-inch alloys have excellent Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (245/35ZR20 95Y front / 295/30ZR20 101Y rear). The exhaust note from the titanium finishers become more exciting closer to its 6800 rpm redline and with the drive mode set to Track mode for full power and effect. It does 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 292 km/h with an overall fuel economy of 8.8 kms/L. I look forward to the new era of a fully electrified Lotus but until then you simply cannot get a better traditional Lotus sports car than the Emira which will become a lasting love song. I would have it any day over a Porsche Cayman GTS. 

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