Four-cylinder Lotus Emira to make debut

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AMG-supplied engine gives Lotus’s final combustion sports car 265kW and 420Nm.

The entry-level four-cylinder variant of the Lotus Emira will be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the brand has confirmed.

It features the turbocharged M139 engine from Mercedes-AMG, the world’s most powerful four-pot and used in the AMG A45, C63 S E Performance and the SL 43, among others.

However, this engine has received “fundamental changes” for the Emira, including a new intake and exhaust, which reduces power outputs from the entry-level AMG cars to 265kW and 430Nm.

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An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is fitted to the AMG unit as standard.

In First Edition trim, the AMG-engined Emira is cheaper than one fitted with the supercharged Toyota V6.

For reference, the Japanese engine – which previously featured in the Lotus Evora and Lotus Exige – produces 294kW and 420Nm and can, crucially, be optioned with a manual gearbox.

The Emira will be Lotus’s final combustion-engined series-production sports car. All new models will adopt battery-electric powertrains sourced from Lotus’s Geely group parent company.

The brand is set to radically expand its EV line-up over the next few years, launching a saloon based on the new Eletre in 2024. A high-volume rival to the Porsche Macan EV is scheduled to arrive by 2028 and is expected to contribute roughly 75,000 sales a year to Lotus’s overall output.

Such cars will be engineered at Lotus’s new factory in Wuhan, China. However, purist sports cars in the mould of the Emira, Evora and Elise will continue to be made in Hethel, Norfolk.

Hethel’s first electric car will be the Type 135, which – despite the collapse of Lotus’s collaboration with Alpine – will arrive in 2026. It will be built around the dedicated Project LEVA (Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture), which places batteries in a Lotus-typical mid-’engine’ layout.

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