It's safe to say that there's no upcoming car which has us in quite the same anticipatory tizzy as the Lotus Emira. Behold the reveal story with nearly 3,000 comments on it. Of course any new Lotus is certain to generate buzz among the faithful - but a car charged with replacing half the lineup and containing the firm's last-ever combustion engines, has a whole other level of expectation heaped on top.
Naturally Lotus is well aware of this, and would like us all to remain at fever pitch right up to the car's on-sale date. Today it has taken an additional step towards full disclosure with confirmation that the Emira V6 First Edition will cost from £75,995. Obviously that is significantly more than the £59,995 the firm says an entry-level model will cost in 2023 (and only marginally cheaper than the starting price Porsche quotes for a 718 Cayman GT4) - but given the surge of interest in the car, probably not wide of the mark for those who wish to be first in line.
In return they get a uniquely badged Emira described as 'fully loaded' by its maker. Initially powered by the Toyota-supplied 3.5-litre supercharged V6 with 400hp (the four-cylinder version will follow next autumn) First Edition buyers get a choice of either the six-speed manual or (for £1,800) the six-speed auto. According to the supplied spec, the paddleshift transmission gets marginally more torque (317lb ft vs 310lb ft) and ought to prove fractionally quicker to 62mph (4.3 seconds vs 4.2).
Elsewhere the car rides on 20-inch V-spoke forged alloy wheels, diamond-cut for a two-tone finish, though silver and gloss black are also available as no-cost options. Initially the First Edition will be made available in a choice of six colours: Seneca Blue, Magma Red, Hethel Yellow, Dark Verdant, Shadow Grey and Nimbus Grey - though more shades will become available during 2022.
Exterior details include LED lights all round, a titanium exhaust finisher, heated power-fold door mirrors and rear parking sensors. The Lower Black Pack is fitted as standard, which means the front bumper air blades, front splitter, side sills and rear diffuser are all in finished in gloss black.
Inside you get 12-way adjustable heated seats, alongside climate control, cruise control and keyless start. You can also choose between red, black, grey and tan Nappa leather, as well as black Alcantara with either red, yellow or grey stitching. Satin chrome trim finishers, white interior mood lighting and Lotus-branded sill kick plates are said to complete the premium look which distinguishes the Emira from its predecessors.
As does the extent of onboard tech. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation are integrated into the First Edition, alongside Bluetooth connectivity and USB sockets. A 10-channel/340W audio system has been developed in partnership with British brand KEF and includes a DAB tuner. Better still, everything is accessed through a centrally-mounted 10.25-inch touchscreen, which ought to deliver a newfound level of functionality.
First Edition buyers also get the Driver Pack, which offers a choice of 'Tour' or 'Sport' suspension, and can choose between either Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport or Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. A Design Pack adds privacy glass, sports pedals, a black Alcantara headliner, and the choice of black, red, yellow or silver painted brake callipers, while the Convenience Pack includes front parking sensors, rear reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers with aero blades, auto-dimming mirrors and a rear luggage storage net.
In fact, beyond the automatic, it seems the only option pack left unticked is the Black Pack, which colours the roof, cantrails, mirror backs, rear Lotus badge and exhaust finisher for £1,200. "The Emira is the most accomplished Lotus we've ever made, and to celebrate and reward our keenest early customers, we want to make the first cars extra special to own," said Lotus boss Matt Windle. "The features have been carefully selected by our design team to make for a truly special and distinct First Edition."
Certainly it is very well equipped, which emphasises to new customers just how rounded - and therefore Cayman-challenging - the new Lotus will be. Production of the V6 Emira is scheduled to begin in the spring, with the four-cylinder car due in the autumn. An updated version of the configurator is now live here if you want to get your daydreaming done early.
SPECIFICATION | LOTUS EMIRA V6 FIRST EDITION
Engine: 3,456cc / V6 / 6,800rpm
Model: Toyota 2GR-FE
Supercharger: Edelbrock 1740
Torque: 310lb ft (manual) / 317lb ft (auto)
Gearbox: Six-speed manual / six-speed auto
CO2: (WLTP combined) 243g/km*
0-62mph: 4.3 seconds (manual) / 4.2 seconds (auto)*
Top speed: 180mph
(* subject to homologation)
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