Lotus’s final internal combustion powered sports car, previously codenamed Type 131, has a real name at last. It’ll be called Emira, the automaker announced early Tuesday, and it won’t be a hybrid.
This was the standout news from Lotus’s Driving Innovation event, a media blitz that mostly reconfirmed the Geely-owned company is working on Many Things — some of which are electric, some of which are sports cars, and some of which are electric sports cars. The Emira will offer a choice of ICE engines borne out of “an exciting new powertrain partnership,” though Lotus has not yet revealed what company it’s partnering with nor the performance figures of those engines.
You can expect to hear more on those subjects on July 6, when the Emira will make its full debut. Until then all we have to go on are these teaser images. Although I’ve brightened them, they don’t reveal much. Expect the car to look like a baby Evija from the front.
Speaking of the Evija, Lotus reminds us that 2,000-horsepower electric hypercar is still happening, and production remains slated for 2021.
“We’re 80 percent there — in terms of power, in terms of batteries, motors, body” Gavan Kershaw, Lotus’s director of product attributes, said in the company’s press release. “Now, the remaining 20 percent is about adding the magic, for everything to work in harmony in that unique Lotus way, to deliver the driving experience that we want and that we can be super proud of.”
You may recall that Lotus announced last summer that the Evija’s arrival would be delayed five months by COVID-19. Earlier in 2019, when it first revealed the Evija, it expected to debut the Emira — then unnamed — before the end of 2020. Of course none of these things went according to plan, so it’s nice to get a little status update.
Elsewhere, the company is hard at work on its first all-electric volume cars built on two architectures: Evolution (for “lifestyle” vehicles — like a crossover, probably) and E-Sports (for sports cars). The Evolution-based vehicle especially appears to tap into Geely’s network of global teams and manufacturing muscle. Lotus tells us this product was “designed in the UK [and] supported by collaborative work with teams in China, Sweden and Germany.” It’d be fair to say Lotus’s long-term viability rests on the success or failure of this car in broadening its customer base.
As for the E-Sports platform, that will not only underpin a future Lotus but also an Alpine all-electric sports car. In fact, in the video presentation Lotus provided the media, the company was very, very clear that it is willing to negotiate deals with any and all carmakers. So far, that appears to be just Alpine. But if you’re reading this and have been searching for an EV base for your future sports car, get in touch with the Lotus folks — they’d like to chat.
And that’s pretty much where Lotus stands about a third of the way through 2021. While the brand’s rebirth has been an eternity in the making and endured more than its share of false starts, with Geely’s backing there’s reason to believe this one will at least go down better than previous attempts. It’s also going to be a while until we see results.