Highlights of 2023 Lotus Emira Item:
- The 2023 Lotus Emira is the company’s last internal combustion engine car, and the V6 version is the last with a manual
- Lotus has vastly improved interior quality and overall refinement without losing its trademark of handling, feedback and simplicity
- The Porsche Cayman still beats the 2023 Emira in some areas, but this Lotus sports car is a delightful modern throwback
What is lotus? For some, it’s the epitome of sports car simplicity – and it can, or rather should be, just that. However, the British brand is not immune to the winds of change or the ripples of the financial markets. That’s why it too becomes electric and brings an SUV to life. But as cliche as Colin Chapman’s words threaten to become, they still lie at the heart of Lotus. And if the 2023 Lotus Emira is any indication, it won’t forget its roots even as the automaker heads into a new era.
The 2023 Lotus Emira unveils the future of the sports car brand…
|2023 Lotus Emira|
|Engines||2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder
3.5-liter supercharged V6
|hp||Four-cylinder: 360 hp
V6: 400 hp
|torque||Four-Cylinder: 310 lb-ft
V6: 317 lb-ft (automatic), 310 lb-ft (manual)
|transfers||Four-cylinder: eight-speed dual-clutch automatic
V6: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
|curb weight||3097 lbs (lightest specification)
3150 lbs (V6 first edition)
|0-60mph time||Four-cylinder: 4.2 seconds
V6: 4.3 seconds
|Price||V6 base version: $74,900
V6 First Edition: $85,900
With the Elise, Exige and Evora gone, the 2023 Lotus Emira is currently the automaker’s only “regular” sports car. It is also the last internal combustion engine car planned by Lotus. Additionally, the Emira will be the last Lotus to use Toyota’s beefy V6. And as soon as that engine says goodbye, so does the stick-shift Lotus.
In short, the 2023 Emira marks the end of an era for Lotus, right down to the trademark bonded aluminum chassis. But it is also the sign of something new. And no, I’m not just talking about the fact that the upcoming four-cylinder model will be based on an AMG powertrain.
For years, the outstanding dynamics of Lotus sports cars have been tempered by less than excellent interiors. Even the Evora GT, one of the brand’s most refined modern cars, made do with an aftermarket Alpine touchscreen head unit. This is not the case with the Emira.
It features a 10.25-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto navigation and USB ports, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. There are also two cup holders, as well as multiple drive modes, rain-sensing windshield wipers, keyless start, rear parking sensors and power-folding door mirrors. In addition, the First Edition models get extra Alcantara, heated seats (!) and a KEF audio system. And the optional convenience pack adds front parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors and a reversing camera.
…but keeps a welcome foot in the past
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Yet while the 2023 Lotus Emira embraces new-age refinement and technology, it still retains some old-school joys. On the one hand, Lotus has not given the Emira V6 electric power steering: the mid-engine sports car still has a hydraulic setup. Second, it doesn’t have electronically adjustable shocks or an active limited-slip differential. Instead, you get “passive” shocks and, optionally, a classic mechanical LSD. road & track reports.
Even though you get the V6 First Edition with a manual, the aluminum shifter’s shift linkage is exposed. What better way to celebrate your last stick-shift sports car?
Also, knowing its customers are passionate drivers, Lotus is offering the 2023 Emira First Edition with multiple tire and spring packages. The optional Driver’s Pack, in addition to an additional track mode, the LSD and an active exhaust, comes with your choice of chassis setup. The Tour option gets you softer springs and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. The Sport, meanwhile, has stiffer springs and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. And if you prefer, you can mix the Goodyears with the sport springs.
Lotus’ last gas-powered sports car with a manual transmission is also one of its best
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Brand purists might complain that the 2023 Emira isn’t as light or as simple as the Lotus Elise. But then again, the Elise was so light in part because of its minimalist approach to safety features, which is why the later models weren’t US-registered. In addition, the lightest Emira weighs just over 1.5 tons. Quote The ride“it hardly needs to go on a diet.”
What the Emira needs to do, however, is show that Lotus is no longer a fringe automaker. As already mentioned, the brand’s sports cars excelled in the corners, but their interior often smelled of glue. Whether on the road or on the racetrack, the Evora GT was equal to the Porsche Cayman in terms of dynamics in every respect. But in terms of everyday driving refinement and interior materials, Porsche had a significant advantage. However, the Emira is changing that.
Granted, the Cayman has more storage space, R&T reports. Even with the compressor, the Emira’s V6 doesn’t quite match the flat six of the Cayman GTS in terms of sound. However, it lets the Lotus match the 0-60 time and top speed of the Porsche. In addition, the 2023 Emira is perhaps the first Lotus to have near-Porsche-level NVH and comfort. The ride says. And its aluminum switchgear feels solid, not plasticky or cheap.
But the Emira’s real killer app is the way it works – like an old-school Lotus in the best possible way. The V6’s hydraulic steering “is out of this world” The ride bubbly, brimming with feedback, and gloriously well-weighted. Even with the sport springs, this car swallows bumps and bumps with aplomb. Nevertheless, it doesn’t sag or wobble in the corners. Instead, it remains planted, agile, and communicative. And when you feel the need to slide, the Emira is ready to go without ever biting you.
Is the Lotus Emira 2023 worth it?
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As of this writing, the 2023 Lotus Emira hasn’t quite hit US shores. The V6 First Edition is due out by fall 2022, with the base edition following in spring 2023. But if you want the AMG-powered one, you’ll have to wait until winter 2023.
So should you place an order with your local Lotus dealer? Well, the touchscreen is slower to respond than the Cayman’s screen, The ride Remarks. Additionally, the side effect of the V6’s hydraulic steering rack is occasional kickback on rough surfaces and slower gearing. R&T says. Also, there’s no trunk in the front, and the rear gets a little toasty due to the proximity of the engine.
However, these are minor annoyances rather than major inconveniences. The 2023 Lotus Emira isn’t just a Porsche alternative: it’s a full-fledged, serious rival. It’s also a throwback to simpler, more analogue sports cars that are becoming harder and harder to find these days.
You don’t have to buy the new Emira instead of a Porsche or any other high-end sports car. But if you do, you don’t have to apologize for it. Last hooray, it’s a good one.
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