The 2023 Lotus Emira is the latest model from the legendary British automaker and the last to use an internal combustion engine. That’s right. Lotus is preparing for an all-electric future, as previewed by the Evija hypercar. But before bidding adieu to its traditions, the company will treat purists to one final gas-burning sports car. As the successor to the Evora GT, which is currently the only Lotus sold in the U.S., the Emira is more practical and offers active safety equipment for the first time. While the entry-level example will have a turbo four with 360 horsepower, Lotus also offers a supercharged V-6 with 400 ponies and an available manual gearbox. That means the Emira competes with Porsche’s 718 Cayman and certain 911 variants.
What’s New for 2023?
Featuring an exotic exterior inspired by the carbon-fiber-intensive Evija and using a bonded-aluminum architecture inherited from the Evora GT, the Emira will bridge Lotus’s past with its future when the car goes on sale in late 2022.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Emira will be sold first as a fully loaded First Edition. However, the lineup will eventually add a more affordable entry-level model.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Mounted in the middle of the Emira will be one of two engines: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6. The four-banger is sourced from Mercedes-AMG and makes 360 horsepower. It feeds the rear wheels exclusively through a dual-clutch automatic transmission. The V-6 is a Toyota-sourced unit that’s carried over from the outgoing Evora GT. It pairs with either a torque converter automatic or a manual transmission. With the stick-shift, Lotus says the 3.5-liter produces 400 horses and 317 pound-feet of torque. Unlike most other modern sports cars, the Emira will forgo electric power steering for a hydraulically assisted setup that the Brits believe will provide better feel and feedback. During our initial test drive, we praised the Emira’s balanced handling and marveled at its commitment to driver involvement. When we get a chance to test the Emira at our own test track, we’ll update this story with test results and more driving impressions.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn’t released estimates for the Emira’s fuel economy and we haven’t had a chance to test one ourselves on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route. When we do, we’ll update this story with results. For more information about the Emira’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
With a simple design and seating for two, the Emira’s interior is both minimalistic and intimate. The driver faces a squared-off steering wheel and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The material quality looks upscale and we’re glad that Lotus included physical switchgear for the climate controls. Likewise, the automaker also attempts to make its latest sports car easier to get in and out of by making the door sills narrower and enlarging the door openings. Other practical improvements include a pair of cupholders in the center console and storage bins in the doors that can each allegedly accommodate a half-liter bottle. There are also 7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seats and another 5 cubes in a storage unit behind the engine.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Emira’s infotainment system will run through a 10.2-inch touchscreen mounted in the middle of the dashboard. Apart from controls on the steering wheel and the likelihood of voice commands, there are no physical controls to adjust the stereo’s volume or tuning. Along with 12-volt and USB charging ports, the sports car will feature standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone functionality.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Breaking with Lotus tradition, the Emira will be offered with a host of optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Emira’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Lotus doesn’t provide spectacular coverage compared with other expensive sports cars. While its limited warranty aligns with many competitors, both its short powertrain plan and lack of complimentary maintenance are disappointing.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2023 Lotus Emira
Vehicle Type: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe
Base, $77,100; First Edition, $96,100
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 360 hp, 316 lb-ft; supercharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.5-liter V-6, 400 hp, 310-317 lb-ft
6-speed manual or automatic (V-6); 8-speed dual-clutch automatic (inline-4)
Wheelbase: 101.4 in
Length: 173.7 in
Width: 74.6 in
Height: 48.2 in
Passenger Volume: 46 ft3
Trunk Volume: 5 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 3520 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 4.0-4.2 sec
100 mph: 10.2-10.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.5-12.8 sec
Top Speed: 180 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 20-21/17-18/24-27 mpg