By now, you should have already seen the gorgeous all-new Emira, Lotus’ first brand-new series-production model in more than a decade (if you haven’t, you should definitely check it out here). But as we all know, the true mark of a Lotus is not its looks, but rather how it drives.
And – surprise, surprise – Lotus once again proves with the Emira that they’re still the chassis whisperer, as former F1 World Champion Jenson Button found out during his 30-lap test drive around the Hethel test track.
The test drive starts at 51:59.
“You always expect a Lotus to have good mechanical grip through the low-speed corners, but there was plenty of downforce in the high-speed corners too,” JB explained. “That means the feeling of great balance is the same no matter how you’re driving it. It’s exceptional, and I’m a big fan.”
And while the Emira is quite a lot bigger than the Exige and Elise of yore, Jenson Button says that everything still feels “just right” when he’s seated in the cabin. “The overall position of the gearstick in relation to the wheel, the pedals, everything was where it should be and that gives you great confidence from the start.”
On top of that, there’s also the new plushy interior of the all-new Lotus Emira, a stark departure from its predecessors. “The Lotus purists will love it, and the thing that people new to Lotus will love is the premium quality of the interior.
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“When you’re in there you’re immersed in the seat and cockpit, and there’s a lot of lower back support, so it will be comfortable for long journeys. That’s going to surprise people. I love the infotainment system too, which has everything you need and is really simple so you can get back to the important part, which is the driving.”
At launch, the all-new Lotus Emira will be powered by the same 3.5-litre V6 engine previously seen in the Exige and Evora. But down the line, it’ll also be offered with a Mercedes-AMG sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged mill – yes, the most powerful production 4-cylinder engine in the world, as seen in the A 45 S.
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With all that performance, plus the newfound luxury on the interior, the Emira probably won’t come cheap, right? Well… here’s what Button had to say about that: “I’m still in shock at the price. Starting at under £60,000 (~RM344k) it’s fantastic and means so many people are going to have the opportunity to experience it first-hand.
“It’s being called a junior supercar, but it would give a lot of supercars a run for their money… and it’s more comfortable than most of them!”
Now, to be fair, Jenson Button is perhaps not the most unbiased person to comment on a brand-new Lotus model, seeing that he’s still somewhat affiliated with the brand on the Radford project. Lotus Engineering, the brand’s consultancy division, is also serving as a technical partner to Jenson Button’s Extreme E team, JBXE. So perhaps take whatever he says with a pinch of salt.
But even then, what JB said about the Emira – especially the driving part – all fall right within Lotus’ wheelhouse, so we have no doubts that it’s probably actually very good. We can’t wait for Lotus Karz to bring the Emira here to Malaysia to finally have a taste of it ourselves.