British manufacturer Lotus is known among sports car and racing fans for their undeniably
cool cars like the Evija.
They are not thought of as a name associated with
electric cars, but that is soon to change. Lotus has been testing prototypes for a new car known as the Lotus Emira, and it may be their first step toward an electric car.
Autocarrecently had a chance to take a ride in a prototype of the new Lotus Emira. While the model they rode in was not an EV, it did leave them impressed.
Attention to performance that begins with tires
There are currently roughly 35 prototype models of the Lotus Emira, and the one that Autocar got to tour was powered by a supercharged V6. During the test ride, the Autocar writer only got to experience the car speeding up to 115 mph. However, this was only because the test track lacked a straight section long enough to accelerate further.
As for how the car felt while on the track, it handled turns well and demonstrated surprising comfort for a sports car. The Emira's suspension was partially responsible for its smooth handling, but credit should especially be given to the car's tires.
Gavan Kershaw, the Lotus director who gave the tour of the Emira, stated that getting the tires right in the Emira's design was critical to the car's success. In their design process, they tried up to 80 varieties of tires. They only stopped searching when they found a tire that gave the Lotus Emira the grip of the road that they envisioned.
The Lotus Emira was designed with the driver in mind
Because the company focuses on expensive performance sports cars, Lotus has a limited market.
However, with the Emira, Lotus is hoping to sell 4,500 cars a year, a major increase over what they have done previously. To increase the sales of their cars, Lotus has implemented design changes that make the cars more friendly to average drivers.
It may seem like a small feature, but Autocar noted how easy it was to enter the Emira. Performance cars like this can sometimes be uncomfortable to get into, so this is a welcome change. Lotus hopes that things like this will show potential customers that the car is not something to be intimidated by.
This user-friendly focus of the Emira can also be seen in its revamped infotainment system. Features like this show that the Lotus Emira is meant to be used as a daily car as well as on the racetrack.
When will Lotus release an electric model?
Even though the model of Lotus Emira in the Autocar article used a gas-powered engine, the company is committed to shifting to electric vehicles. Details on the electric future of Lotus are still uncertain. However, according to
Forbes, the new Emira is likely to be the last Lotus vehicle to run on a gas-powered engine.
Lotus is not the only manufacturer to plan on transitioning away from gas.
Mercedes-Benz,for example, is planning to exclusively make electric vehicles by 2030.
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For drivers interested in the Lotus Emira, the gas-powered model is slated to cost around $77,000 when it launches. As they continue to develop the electric Emira, more details will emerge.
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