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Buying

What should I be paying?

At the time of writing (summer 2023) only ‘First Edition’ Emiras are on sale, in both i4 and V6 form. It had been the intention to sell just this moniker and spec (with inflated price) for the first year of each car’s respective production, but delays at the factory mean all Emiras will remain FirstEds for some time yet: certainly into mid-2024. 

That means the price is high. £81,495 for the i4, and another £4,500 for the V6. And with order books backed up, you may have to pay a premium if you’re desperate to jump the queue and avoid the wait.

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Lotus says it still intends to lower the prices once the FirstEds are sold, but with inflation and material costs running high (and the chance to option in equipment like the KEF hi-fi, a contrast colour roof, driver assists like radar guided cruise control and so on) it’s unlikely there’ll be a bargain Emira any time soon. We’d predict an i4 will start at around £70,000 in due course. 

Rivals are many and talented. There’s the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0: possibly the best non-GT department car Porsche makes. It’s going out of production momentarily, but if you can get hold of one, it’ll cost less than the Lotus. Meanwhile the very best Alpine A110 – the standard car rather than the A110S – is some £20,000 cheaper than the Emira. 

Lotus’s own finance means a monthly price of around £970 is where the outlay starts.

I don’t care, I’ve got my heart set on the Brit.

In that case, once you’ve chosen your powertrain, speccing is a doddle. The automatic gearbox (not a DCT) for the V6 is a £1,800 option we’d avoid. It’s a no-cost option to swap the standard Touring suspension for stiffer Sport suspension with stickier tyres and pointier steering geometry. Given it makes the car more distracted and camber-hungry on the roads it ought to breathe with, we’d choose Touring unless going on track regularly. 

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A wider colour palette is coming on stream now too, so there will be more than just six hues to choose from. 

The V6 is not the world’s most efficient engine; superchargers tend to have that effect. We averaged 24mpg while mostly driving the Emira in an excitable fashion. On a cruise you might just eke that out to 30mpg: Lotus claims a mere 25.2mpg. 

We averaged 32mpg in the i4, with long-distance runs well beyond 40mpg.

And don’t put any ice cream in the boot. In both versions, it gets rather warm inside. If your name is Ben or Jerry, avoid this as a company car.

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