We’re very excited about Lotus‘ forthcoming Evora replacement, the Emira. We love the way it looks, and we love that Lotus has worked tirelessly to make it feel like a sports car to drive every day, rather than just on weekends. We really love the Toyota-based supercharged V6 drivetrain, which is carried over from the Evora GT, but now we’ve got details on the Mercedes-AMG four-cylinder-powered version, and that seems like a winner too, based on Lotus’ announcement Wednesday.
The Evora’s main details don’t change from V6 to I4 — it’s still rear-wheel drive, the engine is still mid-mounted, but the AMG mill will be available exclusively with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine itself is Mercedes-AMG’s M139, which we’ve enjoyed in vehicles like the CLA 45, A45 and the GLA 45 in its milder non-S state of tune. In those AMG vehicles, it produces 382 horsepower, and in the Emira, it will be detuned further to 360 horsepower. The top-tier S version of the motor produces 416 horsepower, but we don’t get that in the US.
Lotus says its version of the M139 is bespoke, with some reengineering having been done to make it work in a rear-wheel drive layout as well as unique software to give it a different character relative to the AMG applications. Lotus hasn’t really elaborated on what that means, but we suspect that the lower power output is intended to not outshine the V6 model, which produces 416 hp.
The Emira’s I4 First Edition features many of the same goodies as the V6 first edition, such as unique badging, the optional lower black pack as standard and a titanium exhaust tip. The well-equipped First Edition will sell for just $85,900 plus a destination fee, while in base trim, it’ll go for $82,900. Online customer reservations will become available this summer.
Lotus Emira Prototype Proves It Will Be 100 Percent a…