Home Car Reviews lotus emeya, range, features and features: first drive review – Introduction

lotus emeya, range, features and features: first drive review – Introduction

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lotus emeya, range, features and features: first drive review – Introduction

Arresting design? Check. Big power? Check. Tech overload? Check. You can imagine the lengths Lotus would have gone to when developing the Emeya, its all-electric GT. The Emeya goes up against the Porsche Taycans and Tesla Model S’ of the world and a no holds-barred approach was essential for Lotus to elbow its way into the consciousness of high-end luxury EV buyers the world over.

The Emeya is Lotus’ second EV after the Eletre SUV, and is part of the carmaker’s bigger plans to go all-electric by 2028. The electrification drive ties in well with Lotus’ new owner Geely’s huge competencies in EVs.

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Lotus Emeya: design and styling

Over 5.1m long and 2.1m wide, the Emeya is a hulking car. In fact, it’s longer, wider and taller than its natural rival, the Porsche Taycan, and it’s actually closer in size to a Porsche Panamera.

The other thing? It’s not got the long-bonnet silhouette of a traditional combustion-engined GT. It’s an EV, and its form is dictated by the electric architecture that underpins it and the huge 3m-long wheelbase that houses its battery pack. So, short front section leads into a large cabin that flows into a high deck tail. It’s an eye-catching shape and there are many finer details of interest.

The curvaceous front flanks, a Lotus trademark, come embellished by quad-LED strips, while the main headlights sit lower down amidst an aggressive bumper. There’s active aero, with vents in the bumper opening and closing (petal-like) for airflow and cooling. Even cooler is an air curtain that drops down from the base of the bumper on the go.

Wheel-arch filling 20-22-inch rims give the Emeya a strong stance and what’s interesting is how Lotus designers have used gloss black and carbon-fibre at the wheelbase and roof to cut visual bulk. To me, the Emeya’s tail is its best angle. The fastback-like rear looks ace, and deftly hides a spoiler that opens in three stages.

Lotus Emeya: interior

The Emeya is a large car and you feel as much when you’re inside. There’s considerable distance between driver and co-driver, and the sense of space is heightened by the large glasshouse. The dashboard (shared with the Eletre SUV) is, as you’d have guessed it, home to a large touchscreen. But the broader surfacing, material finish and slick lighting give this interior a vibe of its own. It’s a cabin that scores very high on look and feel, helped in no small measure by generous use of Alcantara, leather and knurled finishes. You could have a full vegan interior, if you so desire.

Drivers of all sizes will find themselves well catered to on the Emeya's large and beautifully finished seat. There’s ventilation, heating and massage to keep you comfy over long distance journeys, too. Rear-seat space is another highlight, and it makes a Taycan’s rear section look decidedly cozy in comparison. The 3m-long wheelbase opens up superb legroom, the cabin is wide enough to seat three in reasonable comfort and the seat is really well padded. Taller passengers might find headroom limited, but it’s the slightly knees-up seating (typical of most EVs that position their batteries under the floor) that takes away from the experience at the back. Buyers with little use of the middle seat can have their Emeya specced with individual rear seats separated by a fixed centre console.

Boot capacity is a reasonable 509 litres on 5-seater versions, but space reduces to 426 litres on 4-seater models. There’s a 31-litre frunk as well.

Lotus Emeya: features and tech

The Lotus Emeya is big on features and the 15.1-inch touchscreen is just the starting point. The super-slick screen controls many functions (infuriatingly, the AC vent position, too), and you’ll need to dedicate a good few minutes to see all that’s at your fingertips. Drivers don’t need to refer to the touchscreen for all data though. There's a head-up display as well as a strip-like 8-inch screen behind the steering wheel that relays vital information. The co-driver gets a similar screen above the glovebox.

Also part of the package is a banging KEF sound system. There’s the option of a glass roof that can switch from opaque to transparent via controls at the front and back. Also optional, are pod-like cameras in place of conventional wing mirrors. While they look cool and help aero, referring to the displays at the doors that relay the feed feels unnatural. Cars for India are unlikely to get that option.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems or ADAS is included and what’s unique is a quartet of LiDAR sensors that will eventually unlock Level 4 ADAS (hands off, eyes off) when regulations allow. Theoretically, you could have the car drive over dull sections and take control when the good roads come. I’m on board with the idea.

Lotus Emeya: powertrain and performance

You know you’re in something quite serious when the base spec gets you 600hp! That’s the combined power output for the Emeya and Emeya S from the front and rear motors. The Emeya R that uses a more powerful rear motor dials up the power to 905hp! Also unique to the R, is a 2-speed gearbox to get the most out of the motors. A 102kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds the motors.

It’s good that the route for our media drive included unrestricted sections of the German Autobahn, because there are few public roads in the world on which you can unleash the might of a Lotus Emeya R. 100-160kph takes the same time it’d take a mass-market hatchback to go from 40-50kph! The performance is mental. 0-100kph takes a claimed 2.8 seconds! And power doesn’t tail off as it usually does on EVs. It pulls happily to 256kph, its limited top speed. The Emeya just demolishes long distances.

Lotus Emeya: range and charging

Driving with a heavy accelerator foot is unsurprisingly accompanied by a dramatic drop in charge. On the subject, the Emeya R has a WLTP range of 435km, while the base Emeya in 605hp spec, riding on aero-enhancing 20-inch rims, has an official figure of 610km.

The lithium-ion battery pack supports up to 400kW charging, and Lotus recently put the system to the test with it delivering a 10-80 percent charge in just 14 minutes. At the moment, finding a charger capable of such speeds would entail an intercontinental drive of its own. A home AC charger will be the go-to solution for most owners in India.

Lotus Emeya: ride and handling

Among the takeaways from the drive is the Emeya’s fantastic refinement. The powertrain is expectedly quiet, but road, tyre and wind noise are also remarkably well contained. And I’m talking of refinement at cruising speeds of 160kph! Speaking of which, the Emeya doesn’t feature artificial sounds. No Hans Zimmer sound effects here.

It’s a serene experience if you need it to be, and helping the feeling is ride comfort. The Emeya feels really pliant and doesn’t move around as much as you’d expect a car so large to. Air suspension is standard fit that takes inputs 1,000 times a second. The system will have to work overtime on our roads, but it did a fine job of smoothing out surface imperfections on the drive into the Austrian Alps.

It’s on the drive up the twisties that the Emeya has a lot to live up to. Lotuses are traditionally small, light and tight. The 5.1m long and 2.4 tonne Emeya is anything but. An Elise this is not. But judge the Emeya for a car of this size and class, and you’ll see some of that Lotus handling magic shine through.

The steering, for one, is feelsome and engaging without being overtly sharp. Torque vectoring by braking chips in by keeping things nice and tidy. The top-tier Emeya R that goes the whole hog with active anti-roll bars and rear-wheel-steer drives like a smaller car. Grip levels are superb (there’s full time all-wheel-drive), and body control is also very good.

Lotus Emeya: price and verdict

The Lotus Emeya comes to India very soon and will be priced slightly below the Eletre SUV that ranges from Rs 2.5 crore-3 crore (ex-showroom).

Big, heavy and electric, the Emeya is very different to a petrolhead’s idea of what a Lotus should be. Thing is, that’s the Lotus of the past. The brand, in its new avatar, wants to be seen as a maker of performance EVs rather than a sportscar specialist. And this will take some recalibration on our end.

As a car, the Emeya is deeply impressive. It’s got the wow factor outside and inside, and performance and handling are up there with the best from the EV world. Brilliant refinement and great ride comfort round off the package, making the Emeya a car that can wear several hats.

Lotus might not have the recall value among India’s super luxury car-buying elite as yet, but the Emeya sure makes a compelling case for itself as an addition to a multi-crore garage.

Also see:

Lotus Eletre video review

Lotus Eletre review: 905hp electric super SUV driven


Latest Image of Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Expected Price : ₹ 2.50 – 3.00 crore

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