Lotus is squarely targeting the likes of the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT and Tesla Model S with its next electric vehicle (EV), the newly revealed Emeya. This four-door hyper-GT, as the Norfolk-based carmaker calls it, will employ technology seen in Lotus’s other two electric models — the Evija hypercar and Eletre SUV — to deliver outstanding performance: the claim for 0-62mph is under 2.8 seconds.
Lotus showed the Emeya off to the world in New York, announcing its first four-door saloon in the States as America will be a key market that Lotus’ EVs will need to conquer if the company wants to enjoy ongoing success.
Active aerodynamics and advanced air suspension
But while a heavy and complex electric car might seem at odds with the old Lotus philosophy of “simplify, then add lightness”, the CEO of the group was at pains to say this GT will handle like you’d expect a Lotus to.
Feng Qingfeng explained: “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.”
Part of the suite of technologies that Lotus will bring to bear on the Emeya are advanced and active aerodynamics. The four-door model will have an active front grille, rear diffuser and rear spoiler, which — along with its low centre of gravity, something Lotus calls “hyperstance” — is said to enhance the stability of the car while driving.
Lotus also claims the car will set a new standard in the GT segment for ride and handling excellence, thanks to electronically controlled air suspension with sensors that can scan the road 1,000 times a second.
Power to burn… but no fuel to burn
Lotus hasn’t given many exact figures for the Emeya’s powertrain, other than saying it will employ the company’s high-power dual motor set-up. This’ll be capable of pushing the GT to speeds of more than 155mph, but it’s the sub-2.8-second 0-62mph time which really makes the eyes widen.
Extrapolating from this, it’s unlikely that the Emeya will have the outrageous 1,973bhp output of the Lotus Evija, but more likely that it’ll be deploying the 888bhp configuration seen in the Eletre R SUV.
If Lotus can deliver on that 0-62mph time, it’ll make the Emeya one of the fastest-accelerating electric GTs on the planet, outstripping the Porsche Taycan Turbo S (2.8 seconds) and Audi RS e-tron GT (3.3 seconds). But whether it will get near the quoted two-second times of some American machines, such as the Lucid Air Sapphire and Tesla Model S Plaid (both of which have claimed sub-two-second 0-60mph times) remains to be seen.
Driving range also hasn’t been specified yet for the Emeya, although Lotus was happy to confirm that 93 miles of range can be added to the battery in just five minutes at its maximum 350kW DC rate, while an 80 per cent charge is complete in 18 minutes at the same speed.
These numbers indicate that the Emeya has the same advanced 800-volt architecture as the Evija and Eletre, while the battery pack is likely to have the same 112kWh capacity those in Lotus’ electric SUV range, rather than the smaller 70kWh item deployed in the Evija.
Made from sustainable materials
As with any self-respecting EV these days, it’s not just in the realm of zero exhaust emissions where the Emeya is flexing its green credentials. Most of the materials used in its construction are sustainably sourced, in order to reduce the overall carbon footprint put out during its manufacture.
These materials include a luxury thread that is made from repurposed fibres from the fashion industry. There’s also physical vapour deposition (PVD) aluminium, Alcantara, Nappa leather and Ultrafabrics polyurethane (PU) in the car’s make-up.
Good news for audiophiles, too, as the Emeya’s high-power KEF sound system features high-tech Uni-Q speakers and a space-saving Uni-Core subwoofer box, as well as the same Dolby Atmos-enabled 3D surround sound already used in the Eletre SUV.
Ben Payne, the vice-president of design at Lotus Group, said: “This is a Lotus like you have never seen before. We’ve built on everything Lotus has achieved so far to create a luxury performance car for the drivers, designed to inspire confidence, exhilarate with raw emotion and pure joy — connecting them to the road.”
The Emeya will go into production in early 2024, with further information on pricing, specifications and market availability due to be announced later this year.
- If you liked reading about the new Lotus Emeya, you should check out the Pininfarina B95 open-topped electric hypercar, too
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