New Lotus boss Matt Windle has given clues as to how the brand’s iconic new Emira sports car will be differentiated from its predecessors Elise and Exige.
Scheduled for launch in the coming months, the Emira is Hethel’s first all-new car since the Evora launched in 2009, and will be offered with a choice of two engines: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or Evora’s supercharged V6.
“We tried to cover as many bases as possible,” Windle told Autocar. “Two plants will allow us to cover most of this market. It is a Lotus that you can live with; we’ve given it a wider appeal, but it’s still a fantastic sports car with a range of different models that will go from a base spec to an R.“
Windle’s comments come as Lotus lifts the veil on its plan for Emira to be a “celebration of the glories of burning“ before the brand kicks in with its transition to electrification.
As such, the Emira will make substantial technological advancements over its ancestors, while staying true to some of Lotus’ long-standing traditions. It’ll go without electric power steering, for example, adopting the same electro-hydraulic setup as the Evija for better steering feel.
“Yes, EPS [electric power steering] would be easier, “Windle admitted,” but we’re holding on. It won’t be for long; the GSR2 [European vehicle safety] upcoming regulations in 2027 provide driver assistance so you will need to have EPS. But these things really matter here.
After the Evija and Emira, Lotus will begin a campaign to diversify its model range with the aim of increasing its revenues and improving its competitiveness against more traditional manufacturers.
Windle explained: “We have to go to different markets and we have to go to different segments. We need to increase our income through volume and create a virtuous circle where we get the income to invest in the product.
“We are still planning for Hethel to become our sports car manufacturing plant and our engineering headquarters, but we will have a manufacturing plant in China, in Wuhan, which will produce the lifestyle vehicles for us, and that will be a Geely. [Lotus’s parent company] establishment.”
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This notice was published: 2021-04-27 11:16:24