Watch out Porsche Taycan: Lotus Emeya revealed as twin-motor, four-door GT
The first four-door Lotus since the Carlton swings in with much electric power
This is the new Lotus Emeya, and it is 17mph slower than the last saloon car to wear four doors and a Lotus badge. That infamous Nineties troublemaker – because not enough has been written about it – was a Vauxhall breathed on by Norfolk’s specialists deemed too fast for public roads.
TopGear.com estimates there’ll be 100 per cent less parliamentary debate and newspaper campaigns to get this car off the public highway, such is the 21st century motoring landscape. You’ll likely have some internal debate over the Emeya’s silhouette and visual language, though.
And how that debate materialises rather depends upon your feelings about the Eletre SUV, from which this new Emeya clearly takes its aesthetic from. The twin-headlight treatment sits atop a similar fang-like front, sweeping back over the four-door silhouette to reveal a similar single line brake-light treatment. If the Eletre had been sat on by something heavy, the Emeya is the result.
Like that car – and the Porsche Taycan it is clearly born to rival – the third all-new Lotus comes bursting at the seams with power and technology. Lotus tells us the Emeya features a pair of electric motors – a single speed unit up front, a dual speed unit at the back – for full-time AWD, powered by a 102kWh battery (able to accept a 350kW DC charger to add 93 miles in five mins), and harnessed through a two-speed gearbox. Big, ‘race-grade’ brakes, too.
Lotus claims 892bhp, 726lb ft of torque, 0-62mph in 2.78 seconds and 159mph flat out. Not quite the infamous 176mph achieved by the Lotus Carlton, but plenty fast enough in the so-called ‘real world’.
And it’ll apparently be able to read the ‘real world’ incredibly quickly, like some sort of hyperactive voiceover reading out credit card terms and conditions. The adaptive air suspension can read the road “1,000 times a second”, constantly adjusting the dampers to deliver what Lotus claims will be a “confident and comfortable drive”.
A stable drive, too, courtesy of aero trickery applied throughout. An active front grille helps reduce drag (and cool the batteries and brakes), while an active air lip increases high-speed downforce that, says Lotus, makes the Emeya “a truly exciting car to drive with great front-end feel”.
Further aero wizardry comes via an active rear diffuser and rear spoiler, the former “inspired by motorsport”, the latter a dual-layer setup 10mm wider than the one on the Already Wide Eletre SUV, able to offer 215kg of downforce. Eight vents dotted about the Emeya’s body help smooth overall airflow over and under the thing.
Inside the thing there are definite shades of Tesla, centred around a large central touchscreen and an in-car audio system from KEF. Looks good. Clean. There’s active noise cancellation to drown out the aforementioned ‘real world’, along with such luxury materials as aluminium, Alcantara and leather. Lotus makes mention of a new thread repurposed from cotton scraps from the fashion industry.
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Lotus also makes mention of a 55in “projected augmented reality head-up display”, which – in lieu of any further explanation – we imagine is a fancy HUD displaying nav, ADAS, obstacle warnings, lane departure assist and so on.
“Bringing together our rich heritage with intelligent performance and the latest cutting-edge technologies, we’re pushing the boundaries for how a luxury electric vehicle should look and handle, making it truly for the drivers,” said Lotus Group boss Feng Qingfeng.
Just not ‘debated in parliament’ boundaries, mind.