Lotus is reinventing itself as a mostly electric manufacturer, but that doesn't mean outright speed or cornering performance is going away.
With sibling Eletre and Emeya models revealed, Lotus is trying to capture a wider swath of the car market while still delivering passionate performance.
With a 102-kWh battery pack, the Emeya has just wrapped up a series of hot and cold weather tests, ensuring global drivability for the new four-door GT car.
It's still taking us some time to get used to the new Lotus. While the Emira carries its historic two-seat, no-compromises sports car heritage, the Geely-owned automaker is going through a rapid electric transition. Crossovers and sedans are in, but that doesn't mean that hooliganism is out, either.
That's because the incoming battery-electric models remain focused on fun, at least by Lotus' approximations. Originally revealing the family-friendly, 905-hp capable Eletre crossover, the sister model to this staggering crossover is known as the Emeya. Wrapped in a low-slung, Lucid Air meets Lotus Emira-looking shell, the Emeya is all about speed.
That's because the four-seat grand tourer claims a whopping 2.78 seconds to reach 62 mph from a dig. That puts it in the territory of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and Tesla's Model S Plaid, though its 159 mph top speed tempers the hypercar competitive numbers. Either way, that sort of speed combined with four doors and four seats is impressive.
With up to 905 hp and 725 lb-ft of torque, Lotus understands that these power figures are only as good as the accompanying range it can provide. So, Lotus is rightfully focused on ensuring its battery electric GT car can actually, well, tour. Fitted with a 102-kWh battery pack, the first step in seeing just how far the Emeya can go is to get it cold.
Driving a 155-mile, Arctic Circle loop around Ivalo, Finland, Lotus engineers say they've just completed a rigorous, three-year testing regimen for the Emeya, spanning across the globe. With temperatures ranging from -20 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, Lotus is hoping to limit temperature-based battery degradation.
"The testing process at Lotus is rigorous and covers a comprehensive performance assessment of everything from suspension and steering through to battery and tires," said Sylvain Verstraeten, regional vehicle line director for the Emeya. "Emeya is the ultimate all-electric grand tourer, designed and engineered to deliver the optimum driving experience for our customers 365 days a year and in all conditions."
The cold weather testing program included a number of specific situations, including low traction surface stability as well as driver assistance system functionality in low visibility conditions. Most important, however, were the data points surrounding charging and functional range in freezing temperatures, specifically around Lotus' thermal management system.
Beyond the northern reaches of Scandinavia, Lotus also took its four-door touring car to a number of racetracks, including the Nürburgring Nordschleife and a high-speed loop known as the Nardò Ring. The German Autobahn as well as the inner reaches of Mongolia were also used as real-world proving grounds, according to Lotus.
However, the choice to test in the frigid northern European cold was not just for battery life estimates. In fact, Lotus says it wants the Emeya to be all-weather capable from a dynamic perspective, too. With four-wheel drive, a series of advanced control systems, and specific tire pairings, Lotus says the Emeya will be a year-round driver.
Plus, Lotus will include a number of heated surfaces to keep drivers warm and safe. From preheated seats to heated cameras and side view mirrors, no longer will a Lotus be void of creature comforts. There is even a snow mode that turns in head-up display lighting blue, increasing visibility against the bright white background.
Emeya production is set to start this year, though Lotus has yet to reveal a precise timeline for deliveries. Like the Lotus Eletre, production is expected to happen at the company's Wuhan, China factory, which was completed in 2022. Pricing also remains unclear, though we suspect this lightning-quick GT car will be spendy, potentially priced around $100,000.
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