Caffeine&Machine cultofmachine Garage C&M Garage: our Lotus Emira

C&M Garage: our Lotus Emira

We’ve got a Lotus. And we’ve got plenty of big plans for it.

We’ll admit to harbouring a healthy dose of scepticism when Lotus revealed the Emira back in the summer of 2021. Sure, it looked incredible – all swooping, baby-supercar lines shrink-wrapped around a compact skeleton. We’d seen so many false dawns from Lotus, though – why would this time be different?

Well, for one, it now had the backing of the giant Geely conglomerate. In recent years, its ownership has allowed Volvo to reposition itself as a purveyor of laid-back Scandi-cool luxury, transformed Polestar from being a niche performance brand to a major player in the premium EV sector, and produced a new, British-built plug-in hybrid take on the iconic London taxi that’s already become an incredibly common site in the capital and elsewhere.

The Emira is an important car for Lotus, too. We’re told it’ll be the last car the firm will ever build with an internal combustion engine, closing a 75-year-long chapter of the brand’s story before it transitions into building premium EVs. No pressure, then.

Thankfully, early reports were positive, and we had much the same experience when we took a pre-production Emira on a road trip to the Swiss Alps. We came back with an impression of a car that landed in a happy middle ground between long-legged GT and razor-sharp sports car, with a characterful engine and interior materials and ergonomics that were a vast improvement on its predecessors.

It doesn’t quite have the driving first, everything else second ethos of the now-departed Elise, and a 1,405kg kerb has irked some of the Lotus faithful, especially when an Alpine A110 weighs some 300kg less. It’s a different prospect, though – a much more convincing daily proposition, and a serious rival to the likes of the all-conquering Porsche Cayman.

We wanted to experience this car some more. And thanks to Lotus, we’re going to. Welcome to C&M’s new long-term Emira. For at least six months – hopefully longer – we’ve got our hands on a left-hand drive pre-production car, finished in Magma Red, with the 3.5-litre supercharged V6 and six-speed automatic gearbox.

Better yet, we’ve got relatively free reign to make some tweaks. Lotus has already very kindly lowered the car by 20mm for us, but there’s scope for plenty more – wraps, new wheels, interior changes, maybe the odd performance part.

We’ve got big plans for this car, not least because having the steering wheel on the left makes it extra-suitable for some more continental trips… keep watching this space for updates, and if you have any thoughts on what we should do with our Emira, get in touch with us via our social media – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter.

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