"The other sports car" as described by Lotus has entered pre-production.
Jaguar, Volvo, Ford of Europe, Bentley, Fiat, and other brands have announced plans to gradually shift to an all-EV lineup in coming years. Some will achieve this eco-friendly target sooner than others, and there's one other brand on the list we mustn't omit – Lotus. The Evija hypercar is a taste of things to come regarding an EV-only lineup, but before that happens, the Emira will serve as the gasoline engine's swan song.
Following a teaser at the end of April, the Norfolk-based marque has now dropped a new preview of its final ICE car. It shows the upper half of the sporty steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara with yellow accents for the stitching and the 12 o'clock strip mark. The mildly updated Lotus logo originally seen on the Evija is flanked by various controls, but the bigger story here are the paddle shifters behind. Yes, the Emira will be available with an automatic transmission, although we're hoping there will still be a do-it-yourself gearbox with a clutch pedal.
Formerly known by its "Type 131" codename, the last hurrah for the ICE-powered Lotus also shows off its configurable driver’s display courtesy of a fully digital instrument cluster. One of the selectable screens puts a G meter front and center, while the other two are reserved for the "Tour" and "Sport" modes. With the latter activated, the redline increases ever so slightly to 7,000 rpm.
Accompanying the new teaser is news about the Emira entering pre-production at home in Hethel following an investment valued at more than £100 million ($141.5M at current exchange rates) in UK facilities. The Geely-owned brand is hiring more than 200 new people needed for the rollout of the "other sports car" as mentioned by Lotus on social media.
Gallery: Lotus Emira teasers
Replacing the aging Elise/Exige and Evora, the all-new Emira is rumored to come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from a yet-to-be-revealed partner. We're hearing Toyota's tried-and-tested V6 3.5-liter unit from the Evora will reportedly be available as well, complete with a supercharger as seen in previous Lotus applications. Both powertrains are expected to eschew electrification altogether.
Lotus will host the world premiere of the Emira on July 6 from Hethel, Norfolk before bringing the sports car to the Goodwood Festival of Speed several days later.