2023 Lotus Emira stretches its legs on Hethel test track

The 2023 Lotus Emira is set to arrive at dealerships next spring, and ahead of the market launch Lotus has produced a video of the striking sports car stretching its legs on the company’s test track in Hethel, U.K.

Behind the wheel is Lotus test driver Gavan Kershaw, and he provides some detail on the various driving modes tailored for the Emira. He should know a thing or two about each mode as he led the dynamic development of the car.

The Emira is set to be the last Lotus equipped with an internal-combustion engine, as all future models will be electric vehicles. It features an updated version of the platform found in the Elise, Exige and Evora, and essentially replaces all of those models.

The Emira will initially be offered exclusively with a 3.5-liter supercharged V-6, the familiar Toyota-sourced unit Lotus has been using for years. Here it delivers 400 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, with buyers able to pair it with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

2023 Lotus Emira

2023 Lotus Emira

2023 Lotus Emira

2023 Lotus Emira

2023 Lotus Emira

2023 Lotus Emira

Given this is the last Lotus with an internal-combustion engine, a manual really is a must on the Emira. Note, the manual option reduces torque on the V-6 to 310 lb-ft.

The auto is the quicker option here; it sees the Emira hit 60 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds. The manual will see it achieve the same feat in 4.3 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 180 mph with either transmission. A dual-clutch transmission is also in the pipeline, but timing is unclear.

An alternative to the V-6 will be a Mercedes-Benz AMG-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Lotus parent company Geely is a major shareholder in Mercedes). This engine will be available toward the end of 2022 and is expected to deliver about 360 hp.

The sole Emira model available at launch is a special V6 First Edition. It’s priced to start at $93,900. More affordable options will be available at a later date, including a base 4-cylinder model that will start at $74,900. It will only be available in 2023, though.

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