Lotus Emira i4 First Edition launched in Malaysia – 360 hp AMG 2.0L turbo four-cylinder, 8DCT; RM998,800

Lotus Cars Malaysia has announced the start of order taking for the new Lotus Emira i4 First Edition, which is being offered at a special introductory price of RM998,800 on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of taxes and a three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty.

Keep in mind that this price is only applicable for cars manufactured in 2023, after which the sports car will retail for RM1.095 million in Peninsular Malaysia and RM509,000 in duty-free Langkawi. The company says the first customer cars are expected to arrive in November this year.

Visually, the Emira i4 is nearly identical to the V6-powered variant that arrived earlier, so if you want a preview of what the former looks like, you can check out the Emira V6 currently on display at Lotus Cars Malaysia’s showroom in Pavilion KL.

While both variants appear very similar at first glance, one way to tell them apart is by looking at the engine bay, whereby you’ll notice a larger engine cover in the Emira i4. As its name suggests, the new variant is powered by an inline-four engine, but not just any as it is supplied by Mercedes-AMG.

Lotus Emira i4 First Edition launched in Malaysia – 360 hp AMG 2.0L turbo four-cylinder, 8DCT; RM998,800

To be specific, the sports car features the German carmaker’s M139 2.0 litre turbocharged unit that is mated to an eight-speed AMG Speedshift 8G dual-clutch transmission to drive the rear wheels. The mill also sees service in the CLA45, A45 and GLA45, but has been adapted for use in the Emira i4 with new intake and exhaust systems – the gearbox also gets a bespoke calibration to match. The official outputs are 365 PS (360 hp or 269 kW) and 430 Nm of torque.

For context, the Emira V6 that starts from RM1,131,800 uses a Toyota-sourced 2GR-FE 3.5 litre supercharged V6 that puts out 406 PS (400 hp or 299 kW) and 420 Nm. Despite the difference in outputs, the DCT-only Emira i4 takes just 4.4 seconds to get from 0-100 km/h, which is only a tenth off the Emira V6 with a six-speed manual, or two tenths off with a six-speed automatic. The top speed is identical at 290 km/h.

The Emira i4 uses the same bonded aluminium Lotus Sports Car Architecture like the Emira V6, but the introduction of the four-cylinder engine means a new rear subframe is needed. Cast from lightweight aluminium instead of steel like in the V6 model, the component is 12 kg lighter.

Double wishbones continue to be used front and rear, paired with Eibach springs and Bilstein monotube dampers that are available in Tour and Sport configurations. The wheels are 20-inch forged units available in a silver diamond-cut finish or gloss black, paired with either Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport (when the Tour chassis is optioned) or Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (Sport chassis) tyres with profiles of 245/35 at the front and 295/30 at the rear.

AP Racing brakes are started, with discs measuring 370 mm in diameter at the front and 350 mm at the rear. Other driving-related features include an electrohydraulic steering system, a new calibration for the ESC system and an e-Diff function, the last of which carefully modulates brake pressure to the rear wheels in order to maximise traction by transferring torque to the one with the most grip.

In terms of equipment, the Emira i4 comes standard with full-LED headlamps, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker KEF sound system, 12-way powered front seats, Nappa leather (black, red, ice grey or tan) or Alcantara (black, yellow, red, ice grey) upholstery, white mood lighting, Lotus-branded sill plates and satin chrome trim finishers.

Customers can also option a Nappa leather steering wheel with a 12 o’clock centre band and stitching available in yellow, red or ice grey. Since we’re on the topic of colours, the exterior can be finished in one of 13 options, including Hethel Yellow, Magma Red, Vivid Red, Dark Verdant, Seneca Blue, Atlantis Blue, Meridian Blue, Osmium Silver, Nimbus Grey, Shadow Grey, Zinc Grey, Mist White and Cosmos Black.

Lotus Emira i4 First Edition launched in Malaysia – 360 hp AMG 2.0L turbo four-cylinder, 8DCT; RM998,800

Being a First Edition model, the Emira i4 comes with four option packs as standard, with the first being the Lower Black Pack that adds gloss black accents to the roof, cantrails, side mirrors and Lotus script on the rear clamshell, along with satin black exhaust finishers. There’s also the Design Pack that includes privacy glass, sports pedals, a black Alcantara headliner and Emira-branded floor mats.

Meanwhile, the Convenience Pack adds front parking sensors, a rear reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors and a rear luggage storage net. Lastly, the Lotus Drivers Pack gives customers the option of the aforementioned Tour or Sports chassis, both with a Track Mode ESP that adds a specific display to the instrument cluster when engaged.

The Emira is the final Lotus model to come with an internal combustion engine, so it’ll likely be a future classic as the carmaker continues on its all-electric journey. What do you think of it? Would you pick the AMG-powered version of the Toyota-powered one?

GALLERY: 2023 Lotus Emira i4 First Edition

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