Lotus’ last luxurious car, the Evora flopped mildly. The Evora was both priced and engineered to be a Porsche Boxster rival. However, the British car frequently fell short. Auto Express’ 2013 comparison between the two showed the Boxster to be second fastest around their track, whereas the initial comparison from Fifth Gear found the Lotus to be faster.
Lotus could trade blows with the Porsche competition but couldn’t quite win. With the Elise, Exige, and Evora having left production in 2021 according to The Sunday Times Driving, Lotus is stepping into a new era with the Evija hypercar and Emira. Since the Evora entered production in 2009, the sports car market has changed drastically; forced induction and small displacement engines are now kings and fewer sports cars appear to be on the market. Auto Evolution reports that Emira Edition One cars will now start at around $105,000.
These first cars come with the V6 engine, a more aggressive exterior and extra technology like parking sensors and heated door mirrors. This is a near $22,000 premium over the base model of Emira which will come equipped with a four-cylinder engine. Now with both these price points having been provided by Lotus the Emira is set up at an interesting price point where drivers have plenty of choices.
The Lotus Emira is competitively priced against Grand Tourers and used Supercars
Conventional Alternatives To The Lotus Emira
According to Autotrader the 718 Cayman starts just shy of $64,500 and rises to around $118,000. The base 911 Carrera costs $115,000, purchasing a Porsche without spending extra on options is no easy task but it makes cross-segment comparisons more confusing. This same $82,000 and up price segment sees the Jaguar F-type in four-cylinder and V8 guises and at a stretch the current crop of M3 and M4s. Each of these cars is said to have its drawbacks, beginning with the BMW.
As recently as this week, Carscoops have published articles regarding the new M3 but still call the polarising front end to the reader’s attention, despite as they claim it is a brilliant sports sedan. The latest 911 has been criticized by Autocar for not sounding as excellent outside of the car as it does in the cabin as well as its slower than expected engine response time. The F-type isn’t faultless either.
As reported by Motoring Research for the 2020 F-type facelift, the revised engine range saw the removal of the mid-range V6 engine which leaves the 2.0-liter four-cylinder units producing north of 300 hp making up the bulk of F-type sales whilst the spectacular V8 engines which are now just labelled F-type R produce the crackles and bangs that defined the F-type at its introduction in 2013. Each of these cars has positives as well but when writing about Lotus these compromises are what must be considered.
In Top Gear’s review of the final Elise, they wrote that it was “designed for just one purpose”, that being driving engagement. Comfort and daily driveability went out of the window alongside the cabin’s noise and thermal insulation. The Emira Edition One attempts to remedy this by offering a more luxurious cabin, driver aids and better build quality from its new production facility, to beat the competition it must have fewer drawbacks than those cars on the market currently.
With this aggressively positioned pricing, engine options and the option of a manual, automatic or dual-clutch transmission the Emira offers what some of the competition haven’t.
British motoring outlet Evo have a list of the best cars available for under $140,000, in the simplest terms the Lotus Emira is batting against all of these. Evo only list used Supercars at this price point the Mclaren 12C, Lamborghini Gallardo Balboni and Ferrari F430 Scuderia, these are some of the best-engineered driver’s cars on the roads.
Evo’s list is concise and stops there but it could be more comprehensive, a brief search on AutoTrader reveals a plethora of BMW M Cars, the Audi R8 and the New Aston Martin Vantage used cost beneath $110,000. A well-specified Lotus Emira will presumably be able to exceed $135,000 in the same way an F-type can, when choosing between a new British car and a used Italian car the driver likely isn’t considering reliability in their purchasing decision, as purchasing a sports car is usually an emotional decision.
Before the R8 very few used supercars every day, they existed as second cars locked away in garages it’s for this reason that the Emira makes sense as a purchase in the same way a new F-type does as a car that can be daily driven, parked without much anxiety or attracting much attention. None of these benefits exists for anything carrying the Lamborghini, Ferrari or Mclaren badges.
This Is How The Lotus Wins
Saying that a Lotus doesn’t attract attention is doing the brand a disservice. Many have turned and looked at the cars which have until recently come from a small factory in Norfolk and concluded that the driver must be rather brave. The Lotus’s Elise’s lack of comfort meant that unlike an Audi TT they were frequently second cars.
The Emira’s interior is designed to remedy this and continue where the Evora left off in its battle with the Cayman whilst stepping into the market of the 911 and F-type. The Emira continues design tropes which Lotus have implemented with their latest halo car the Evija but this doesn’t mean it is a radical redesign of what has come before it, a design evolution it will turn heads, unlike the subtle Porsche 911. It will be easier to drive every day than those used Supercars that cost a similar amount.
Lastly, it is more sporting than the most comfortable and Grand tourer like cars in this segment the F-type and M3. The Emira compares incredibly well with the competition and by continuing the brand’s engine partnership with Toyota which according to Motor Biscuit has worked incredibly well to produce ver fast cars, the Emira looks like it will be as reliable as Lotus’ latest entries.
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