► Lotus Emeya EV unveiled in New York
► Hethel’s answer to the Porsche Taycan
► Four-door super-saloon, 2.8sec 0-62mph
Meet the new Lotus Emeya – the new all-electric super-saloon that continues Hethel’s headlong rush to electrify its range at pace. It’s a dramatically different four-door EV to take on rivals from Tesla and Porsche, not to mention the triumvirate of German mainstream premium brands.
The Emeya badge continues the long tradition of Lotus names beginning with the letter E stretching all the way back to the Eleven. But that’s where the common thread of history is broken: like the Lotus Eletre e-SUV, the Emeya will be neither light nor sports car, but ushers in a new type of Lotus that embraces zero-emissions sustainability yet doesn’t forget its athletic roots.
Hethel has not yet given the full specs for the Emeya, but we know it shares the same fundamental EV hardware as the Eletre which tips the scales at 2520kg. The saloon is lower and will therefore almost certainly be lighter, but don’t go expecting a kerbweight under two tonnes.
Lotus Emeya: the lowdown
Developed under codename Type 133, the Emeya saloon reflects the company’s rapid expansion into different types of bodystyle and niche under Geely ownership. It was unveiled at a glitzy event in New York on 7 September 2023, purposefully picked to underline this car’s global ambitions. The Lotus Emeya will be built in China, not Hethel.
‘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 Feng Qingfeng, the CEO of Lotus Group.
It’s a large four-door saloon dubbed a ‘fully electric hyper-GT,’ designed to rival the Porsche Taycan, Mercedes-Benz EQE and Audi e-Tron GT. The use of the same electric skateboard architecture as the Eletre means it will come as standard in dual-motor mode, with peak power of 893bhp and maximum torque standing at 727lb ft.
Yes: those are head-spinning outputs, placing the Emeya up there with the most violently accelerative BMW M cars or anything that Mercedes-AMG or Audi’s RS department can offer.
The new 2024 Lotus Emeya will be blindingly quick: Hethel confirms the fast four-door will sprint silently from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and top speed is capped at 159mph for the sake of the battery cells’ health. Remember: a contemporary F1 car accelerates from 0-62mph in around 2.6 seconds, only two tenths faster…
What we used to call in-gear acceleration is just as vicious. Acceleration from 50-70mph take less than two seconds, suggesting that this saloon is geared towards performance as much as long-legged cruising.
Permanent all-wheel drive is governed by Lotus ICC intelligent torque distribution, the poor black box whose job it is to marshal all that thrust into forward progress without spilling off the road. Meanwhile, active dampers monitor the road conditions 1000 times a second, helping them adapt quickly to bumps and lumps in the tarmac (older readers may remember Lotus playing with active ride all the way back in the 1980s).
Aerodynamic trickery ahoy! The shape-shifting Lotus
The Lotus Emeya has been given a lot of careful aerodynamic sculpting to cleave the air with minimal drag; note how door mirrors are swapped for cameras and there’s an intricate aero package keeping the Emeya squashed to the tarmac.
Take the front grille area; active aero flaps open or shutter, depending on whether the car needs minimum drag or maximum cooling, just like on the Eletre. The rear spoiler is also active and, at 296mm wide, it’s 10cm broader than the Eletre’s to create a greater surface area – contributing to total downforce of more than 215kg at speed.
If you find the exterior styling of the new-generation Lotuses different, wait until you step into the cabin. There’s a significant step forwards in interior quality and features compared with what went before.
And just look at those camera-based mirrors; a digital screen is integrated into the front of the door card, rather like in the diminutive Honda E.
It’s as far removed from a pared-back Lotus Elise cockpit as you can imagine, as it should be for a sporting limousine. There’s an in-house touchscreen infotainment system, a world-class Kef stereo with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound and even road noise-cancelling soundwaves, to counter road and wind racket. We’ve yet to drive the Emeya, but we’ve a sneaking suspicion it’ll be super-refined.
Take note also of the 55-inch project augmented reality head-up display (HUD). Geely’s parentage is a huge boon here – the Chinese behemoth’s parts cupboard and budget aligning perfectly with Norfolk’s decades-old engineering prowess to come up with some interesting technical innovations.
Battery specs, range: a Lotus grand tourer?
The lithium-ion battery in the Emeya has an enormous, long-legged (and presumably heavy) 102kWh capacity for a range that is likely to stretch beyond 350 miles. The final claimed WLTP EV range has not yet been confirmed, so that’s our best guesstimate, and Lotus admits ‘Emeya range is expected to be broadly similar to that of the Eletre.’
When it comes to recharging, an 800-volt electrical architecture means that the Lotus Emeya will be no laggard when it’s plugged in.
Revealed: the longest range EVs
Capable of charging at up to an astonishing 350kW DC, it’ll add 93 miles in just five minutes, according to Lotus – while the benchmark 10-80% charge takes a scant 18 minutes (assuming you can find these mythical ultra-rapid chargers in Britain).
When can I buy the Lotus Emeya?
Production is set to begin later in 2024. No prices have been announced yet, but we expect an RRP around £90k.
We’ll update this page once the final details have been published.
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