Lotus Emira driven at Laguna Seca ahead of US debut

The Lotus Emira has made its way to the US, where it will be officially launched at The Quail: A Motorsport Gathering later today. The Emira will be displayed alongside the Evija hypercar and the Radford 62-2, the latter a joint project between Lotus and Radford (co-owned by former Formula One world champion Jenson Button).

But before making its official debut in The Land of the Free, the midship sports car made a brief stop at the famous Laguna Seca Raceway in California for a quick spin. Button, who once again found himself in the driver’s seat of a manual variant, said the Raceway is “such a great circuit, most road cars on tracks don’t work, but this does.”

Button also previously said the Emira was an “exceptional” car that will give many supercars a run for their money. You’re probably not wrong to think that he’s paid to say that, but the fact that Button’s upcoming Radford 62-2 sports car project is built on the Emira’s platform speaks volumes of Lotus’ lightweight bonded aluminium chassis.

Just to recap, the Emira’s projected starting price is just under £60,000 (circa RM350k) in the UK, and customers have two engine options to choose from. The first is the familiar Toyota 2GR-FE 3.5 litre V6 that’s supercharged to produce up to 400 hp and 430 Nm of torque, and it will be available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

By mid-2022, a 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine supplied by Mercedes-AMG will be available. The four-pot is said to be specially tuned to deliver that characteristic Lotus trait, and it will be paired with AMG’s dual-clutch transmission as standard. Both engines are transversely mounted, sending drive exclusively to the rear wheels. Lots of hype for this one, it seems.

GALLERY: Lotus Emira

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.


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