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Lotus unveils its new Emira sports car
Lotus Cars has unveiled its new Emira model, a mid-engined premium sports car that is set to be the brand’s last car to be fitted with an internal combustion engine, before fully embracing electrification.
The Emira will be built at Lotus’ home in Hethel, Norfolk, following more than £100m of new investment in the company’s UK facilities. The operations teams will be supported by new processes and technologies to enhance production efficiency, volume capability and build quality.
An all-new paintshop features robotic application – a first for Lotus that will improve quality, capacity and process repeatability. It includes many innovative technologies such as a combined primer and clearcoat line. There is a new semi-automated body assembly system, with robots being used to apply adhesive. Vehicle bodies are transported around the main assembly area on Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs).
The first Emira production actually begins at Lotus Advanced Structures (LAS), an all-new facility in nearby Norwich, Norfolk, where chassis fabrication and front-end assembly takes place. The launch of the Emira has created more than 200 new operations roles at Lotus.
Matt Windle, managing director at Lotus Cars, said: “The Emira is a game-changer for Lotus. It stands as a beacon of everything we have achieved to date in the transformation of the business, the embodiment of our progress. It is a highly significant milestone on our path to becoming a truly global performance car brand.”
The Emira is the first all-new Lotus sports car to be delivered under Vision80, the strategic plan which is guiding the transformation of Lotus as it moves towards its 80th anniversary in 2028. Powering the Emira will be a choice of two petrol engines. At launch, the first cars will be available as limited-production ‘first edition’ models powered by the 3.5-litre V6 used in the Exige and Evora. From summer 2022, the first new Lotus sports car engine for more than a decade makes its debut, with the Emira powered by AMG. The new-to-Lotus AMG unit is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘i4’ from the performance division of Mercedes-Benz.
It will be Lotus’ last car to use internal combustion engines, before fully embracing electrification and a new era for the brand later in the decade.
Across the Emira range, power output will between 360 and 400bhp at launch, with 0-62mph acceleration in less than 4.5 seconds and top speeds of up to 180mph. Maximum torque will be 430Nm and CO2 emissions will start below 180g/km. The car has a target weight of 1,405kg in its lightest form, and prices will start at less than £60,000.
Matt Windle added: “The Lotus Emira is the most accomplished Lotus road car ever to roll through the Hethel factory gates. Beautifully proportioned with a stunning design inspired by the Evija all-electric hypercar, it’s the perfect package. The Emira is a junior supercar with all the thrills and head-turning characteristics found in the greatest Lotus cars, but at the same time is an everyday sports car that’s high on comfort and functionality, packed with the latest technology demanded by the discerning driver.”
First customer cars will start to be delivered around the world from spring 2022.