Lotus today unwrapped its new flagship, the Emeya, at a glittering event in New York City. Known as the Type 133 until recently, the electric four-door sedan will pose a fresh challenge to the likes of the Tesla Model S and the Porsche Taycan Turbo. It flaunts cutting-edge tech and is the brand’s first four-door sedan after the Opel Omega-based Carlton from the 1990s.
Aerodynamics is at the sedan’s forefront. The new Lotus features an active grille upfront, first seen on the Eletre SUV, to reduce drag and improve efficiency when closed and cool the battery and the brakes when open. There’s also an active front spoiler, a motorsport-inspired active diffuser, and an active rear spoiler to maximize downforce for canyon carving and track driving. The active rear spoiler is 11.0 inches wide, 3.9 inches wider than the one on the Eletre, generating a net downforce of 474 pounds at an unspecified speed.
Sustainable materials take center stage in the Emeya’s interior. Lotus is the world’s first carmaker to use a new type of yarn. For the passenger compartment upholstery, the brand uses yarn derived from cotton waste within the fashion and clothing industries. It’s not only a form of sustainable luxury, but also saves weight compared to leather.
Lotus is also using processes such as physical vapor deposition (PVD) for metallic finishes on certain cabin surfaces. You’ll find Alcantara, ultra-fabric polyurethane, and Nappa leather in other areas.
There’s more to the interior than just sustainable materials. A KEF 3D surround sound system integrates noise cancellation; vibration sensors installed on the exterior detect tire and suspension movement. Algorithms then generate “anti-phasing acoustic signals” via the speakers to curb interference. For the driver, there’s a 55-inch augmented reality head-up display for quick access to important information. It also has digital mirrors and LiDar modules like the Eletre.
The Emeya rides on the same platform as the Eletre, the bespoke Electric Premium Architecture (EPA) derived from Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA). It is expected to have a similar range as the Eletre, which can cover 373 miles on the optimistic WLTP cycle. It has a 102 kWh battery pack, slightly smaller than the Eletre’s 112 kWh pack, which can charge at 350 kilowatts. 93 miles of range can be added in five minutes – 10-80 percent takes 18 minutes with a 350 kW DC fast charger.
Performance figures straddle the hypercar territory. With 905 horsepower and 726 pound-feet of torque, the sedan can slingshot from 0-62 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds. The all-wheel-drive EV’s top speed is limited to 159 mph. Power is channeled to all four corners via a two-speed transmission, and Lotus claims the braking system is “race-grade.” In terms of chassis tech, the adjustable suspension can analyze the road ahead 1,000 times per second.
“This is a completely new Lotus, something never seen before. Building on what Lotus has accomplished to this day, we have created a luxury car that delivers outstanding performance for the driving enthusiast, designed to inspire confidence and excitement,” said Ben Payne, Lotus Group’s vice president of design.
The company will reveal more details in the fourth quarter of 2023, and production is scheduled to start in 2024 at the brand’s Geely-owned plant in Wuhan, China, where the Eletre is already being manufactured. The Emeya will arrive in the US by Q4 2024, Lotus vice president and chief of commercial Mike Johnstone told InsideEVs.
Once production of the Emeya and the Eletre is in full swing, probably by 2025, the brand expects 30 percent of its total sales to be in the US, said Johnstone.
Lotus has yet to prove its mettle in the EV era. After selling only 576 gasoline-powered Emiras last year (citing supply chain issues), the Geely-owned brand has garnered over 17,000 orders this year from a combination of Eletre and Emira. Production of the latter is underway in full swing, as per Johnstone.
Its current order book has apparently broken all previous sales records, and new models like the Emeya might contribute to turning its fortunes around.