Emeya: Is This Luxury Electric Sedan Really A Lotus? – Forbes

Lotus made its name producing low weight sportscars. From the Elan in 1962 that used fiberglass to tip the scales at only 680kg, to the phenomenally successful Elise, the Lotus theme has traditionally been nimble handling rather than brute power. But now that Lotus is becoming an electric brand, this ethos is changing. Hot on the heels of the hefty Eletre SUV, the Emeya Hyper-GT has been launched in the UK. It may have an impeccable sports pedigree, but as a large sedan, is it still a Lotus? I asked Lotus Group’s Vice President of Design Ben Payne to explain the new strategy.

“Lotus has evolved as we move into an era of electrification,” says Payne. “That super analogue light weight is difficult to translate into future EV products. What we’re trying to do with the electric SUV and now the Emeya is a big stretch for the brand, but we are still trying where possible to make these cars as light as we can. Where possible we use lightweight materials, including carbon fiber and a full aluminum body. It’s about how we broaden the brand and bring the Lotus experience to more people. For the purists, it’s still a big stretch.”

The Emeya certainly has supercar levels of performance on tap. It will offer up to 905hp dual motor power and 985Nm of torque. This will enable a 0-62mph sprint speed of just 2.78 seconds. Lotus hasn’t released details of the Emeya’s battery size or range, merely saying this will be broadly like the Eletre, which offers up to 373 miles (WLTP). However, charging is available at up to 350kW, enabling 93 miles of range to be added in five minutes, while a 10-80% charge will take 18 minutes. So the Emera should fulfil its GT billing.

“There’s some conflict there for people but the other thing we must consider is making sure we’ve got a fully sustainable business model,” says Payne. “Lotus has always been an amazing brand in terms of the product, the innovation, and the level of appeal, but we struggled to achieve a proper market foothold.” Lotus is clearly aiming for a much more mainstream but upmarket clientele – hence the new showroom in Mayfair where the UK launch took place.

“Purists inside the company are well aligned with the strategic vision that came from the acquisition of Lotus six years ago,” explains Payne, referring to Lotus’s purchase by huge Chinese company Geely, which also owns Volvo. “Now we’re moving forward to make sure that we have a sustainable business. Doing lifestyle products is the way to continue to innovate and drive true performance cars as well. We must also be very cognizant that EV technology is developing very quickly. It lends itself to larger products right now, but as it advances, we will then apply that to lighter, tighter, and more focused products in the future.”


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