The unveiling of the Lotus Emira was met with great fanfare. It’s well proportioned, good looking, and has a properly modern cabin. But being a Lotus, you can expect it to drive really, really well.

That’s exactly what former Formula One world champion, Jenson Button thinks of it. He spent over 30 laps driving the Emira around the Hethel test track, to which he said “it’s exceptional and I’m a big fan.”

“You always expect a Lotus to have good mechanical grip through the low-speed corners but there was plenty of downforce in the high-speed corners too. That means the feeling of great balance is the same no matter how you’re driving it. It’s exceptional and I’m a big fan,” he enthused.

For a towering figure such as himself, he sure seemed comfortable sitting in the Emira. In fact, he said once he sat inside, the Emira “just felt right,” adding that “the overall position of the gearstick in relation to the wheel, the pedals, everything was where it should be and that gives you great confidence from the start. I love the infotainment system too, which has everything you need and is really simple so you can get back to the important part, which is the driving.”

Lotus will be building the Emira in an entirely new facility in Norwich, a move it promised will produce a marked improvement in vehicle build quality, overall fit and finish, and consistency. The Emira will be perfect for everyday use, too, offering unprecedented levels of creature comforts, technology and practicality.

“The Lotus purists will love it, and the thing that people new to Lotus will love is the premium quality of the interior. When you’re in there you’re immersed in the seat and cockpit, and there’s a lot of lower back support so it will be comfortable for long journeys. That’s going to surprise people,” Button said.

As for the price, Button said “I’m still in shock at the price. Starting at under £60,000 (circa RM350k), it’s fantastic and means so many people are going to have the opportunity to experience it first-hand. It’s being called a junior supercar but it would give a lot of supercars a run for their money… and it’s more comfortable than most of them!” Button is a long-time fan of the brand and one of 130 would-be owners of the pure electric Evija hypercar.

GALLERY: Lotus Emira