Lotus Emira Prototype Proves It Will Be 100 Percent a True Lotus
Lotus Emira Prototype Proves It Will Be 100 Percent a True Lotus
13:10

Lotus Emira Prototype Proves It Will Be 100 Percent a True Lotus

Cars
Speaker 1: The Lotus in me. You just want to know what it's like to drive, don't you? Oh, yes, It really has that low. Speaker 1: This particular Emira is a three and a half liter V6 manual putting out 400 [00:00:30] horsepower and 310 pounds foot of talk. It has the optional mechanical limited slip differential and the standard tour chassis setup. However, this car is also VP or verification prototype double oh seven, which has been used for testing, improving the a a or advanced driver assistance systems for the Amira. Hence the camera in the nose. That means it has done thousands of miles at he IATA and on the roads across Europe. And I think it's all the cooler for it. [00:01:00] Obviously you can see the stickers, but from a distance you might assume this is otherwise a production spec car. Well, not exactly for a start. When you look closely, you can see that a large number of the parts of 3d printed prototypes things like the intakes rear bumper outlets and rear vents. Some of the shop lines are also not representative. The boot is very much pre-prod and the NVH is not quite up to sign off levels either Speaker 1: The interior much like the exterior at first glance looks well [00:01:30] production ready. Really? It looks all, all finished remarkably. So I have to say for a prototype, I suppose you've got the big red kill switches down here, which the equivalent of the stickers on the exterior, but apart from that, yeah, it's all as you'd expect, except it's not because the more you start looking around, you notice little things. So the gear linkage isn't exposed on this one, which, um, it should be for the finished item up here. You notice we've got 3d printed parts for these, um, sun lines up here. And I think [00:02:00] actually the wrong way around in terms of left and right hand drive as well, the plastics as well. So they're smooth in here, whereas they'll have sort of grain and texture on them for the final ones, but because they come out of, um, sort of the, the soft molds rather than the, the final hard molds. Speaker 1: So there's no point engineering in that grain because they don't need it at this stage. Other little things that I wouldn't have noticed unless they pointed them out. So bits have trimmed down here just to a front of the front edge of the speaker, which is just slightly overlapping and the way that the carpet doesn't quite meet [00:02:30] the SI down here, it's not fully fitted to be honest in the past. I think there are lots where they've gone. That's fine. That's the finished articles, no need to kind of really get it absolutely right on the tolerances, but it speaks of how they are really are, wanna get this to the, the next level. Um, or to be honest, several levels above in terms of fit and finish and quality in here, seats as well. They look like the finished item. They look like feel pretty comfy as well when you initially assist them, but it's not quite there. Speaker 1: So [00:03:00] there's sort of, there's a bit of a gap just between the sort of the back of my BU there and the rear there. So they're gonna sort of reduce a bit of the lumber I think, in there and things like that. So it's, it's nearly there and I can certainly get the impression, but it is still a prototype and I I've always find it fascinating driving these cars and seeing just what's gonna finish. We've got the screen is here. There's gonna be a little less glare probably off these screens on the finished item as well. The refresh rate as well might get just a bit quicker. So with all these things, you can get an idea of what it's going to be like, [00:03:30] but you still know that it's not quite the finished article. It's still those last sort of bits, which really can make a difference anyway, time, what it for another drive. Think. Speaker 1: So the first things to sort of the things you can definitely glean with this being a prototype are things like, well, just the, the view out, I suppose, for a start, which is fantastic. I love being able to see those front arches [00:04:00] up there. And then there's something about just the way this door curves down here and gives you a really nice view out sort of almost underneath the door mirror there, which feels really, I don't know, it gives, gives you much sort of area feeling in this cabin that you might expect overall, this has the same wheel base as an AVO. But to me it feels like a much more sort of compact sort of, it feels like a smaller car, to be honest, straight away, [00:04:30] perhaps the elements that are closest to production spec on this particular Amira are the drive train, which is no surprise because obviously we used to supercharged V six from lots like the, and the AVO. And it feels very familiar. I love being able to look in the rear view mirror and see the little linkage, just going backwards and forwards. I think it's actually it's to do with the boost. It's not linked directly to the throtle. I mean, it sort of is it's obviously linked to throtle inputs, but [00:05:00] it's the throttle cable because there is no throttle cable. Anyway, it's fun seeing it move in your peripheral vision in the rear view mirror, Speaker 1: The gear chef, just, you need to be a bit precise with it. Try not to rush it too much. Speaker 2: And then Speaker 1: It's really enjoyable to use. Of course, if you don't want three pedals [00:05:30] or they're not an option for you, then there will be both an auto version of the V6 or the new Mercedes sourced of charge in line four with a D C T. Okay. Speaker 1: They're saying that the dam is on this. They're not the final iteration. Neither is the steering, in fact, in terms of the valving. But given that it's a most of the way there, there is definitely, there's a lovely fluidity to it. As soon as you get into it, there's that sort of characteristic breathing. You can tell [00:06:00] it's gonna breathe with the road because it just, it rolls on the Wes corners, but it remains precise. It's not, it's not Walley. There's just a nice bit of roll. Nice bit of pitch under break, which lets you know, you know, where the car is and Hey, just feels engaging because of that. The fact that the Amira has hydraulically para assisted steering rather than an E pest setup also helps with that sense of engagement and will likely feel the benefits even more on the [00:06:30] road. All the controls feel really well placed. Gear shifts placed nice and high, nicely place next to the steering wheel pedals feel perfect in terms of their spacing as well. Speaker 1: And there's a calmness to the steering. I suspect they might make the steering little lighter. So they've said they're going to actually make the gear shift just a little lighter. So at the moment it's something like, I think it's 30 Newton meat is a degree across the gate and they're gonna like that off [00:07:00] to 28. You'd meet this per degree across the gate just to make it a little easier because this is obviously the, the touring spec. This, they want this to be a more livable lotion sports car than before now. We've got three modes in here and I've been in tour to start with, but we press a, this little button down here or this little toggle switch, I suppose we can go down to sport. And in fact we can use the touchscreen as well and sport well livens the power train and the exhaust, but [00:07:30] keeps the FC, uh, dialed up. Speaker 1: We'll come back to that in second. And then if we go to track, so that dials everything up to maximum, but takes the ESC right the way back. Now it doesn't do that in this car because this is a prototype. So actually Bosch won't allow lots to turn everything off at the moment in this car because they haven't signed that off yet. Seems a bit weird. Doesn't it? Bosch? Won't let you turn everything off, but there we go. That's the way it is. So you can slide it in a bit, but it then does to knit [00:08:00] back in. So you kind of have to battle up, however, the TC and the vehicle dynamics control the ESC stuff is unbelievable on this. If we put it back into sport for a minute, I'll show you what I mean. It's um, the times when you are thinking, I know it must be cutting in because of what I've asked the car to do there, but you just don't feel it. The sort of, that really [00:08:30] Judgey sort of intervention that you're used to perhaps with a lot of ESC systems is just not there. It's extraordinary. These tires feel really nice and progressive as well. These new Goodyear Eagle F one SuperSports, there's a lovely again, fluidity, which matches that slightly relaxed suspension, just the way they move across the surface feels really nice. You can obviously upgrade them when you get to the sports chassis, but Speaker 1: [00:09:00] I like these, Right. Let's go back to track. Gives us a bit more noise. They're going to tune the noise a bit more as well in this, I think we're gonna get a bit more base in the final cars. There's a lot of grip in this car. I mean, it, it slides really smoothly, but even staying within the limits, you're traveling really quickly In here, [00:09:30] Feel of there. So it's, it's not gonna be turned all the off in this car, but it gives him an idea. We've got the limit slip dip in this car and it certainly feels well, very happy to be pushed. Really again, nicely compact. It's all there. It's not doing anything Scary or surprising. So there's a bit of just push at the front. Then as you get on the power Easily neutralized, Speaker 2: [00:10:00] It Speaker 1: Really is quick. This Breaks feel fantastic too. I know they say they're gonna change those a little bit, but to me there doesn't feel like there's an awful lot of work to do there. Ah, or Speaker 2: Through Speaker 1: This, Speaker 2: Section's Speaker 1: Getting it settled. You can see how a sport chassis would just make it, [00:10:30] obviously that bit more controlled and precise, but The touring chassis is still fantastic on track Speaker 1: Things. I'm not quite so sure about at the moment. Well this steering wheel actually, I kind of, I quite liked it to start with and it is it's nice. I don't mind the, the shape of it. You can see through it really clearly, which is obviously one of the major goals with the overall shape of it. It just feels quite sort of quite thick to hold right now. I [00:11:00] might prefer something a little thinner instead of expect that with Lotus. I think I did ask Gavin Kershaw about this. And the reason given was actually because they expect most cars to be specked with paddles and the shape is designed with those more in mind, you can actually see the gaps for paddles on this prototype steering wheel. I still think the rim would be nicer, thinner, but is a reason for the way it is. At least other things to mention in here just feels really well appointed. It feels like a nice place to spend time. We'll obviously do a proper review of the final car, but just [00:11:30] initial impressions. Everything is well, Speaker 1: What you'd expect and what you'd want again, just driving around today, having the, the physical controls well as this screen. So just the things for the HVAC here makes a difference. This screen seems relatively responsive. I think they're going to improve that for the final cars, but it certainly looks really nice. And there don't seem to be too many menus in there to get your head around either which, um, for a bear of little brain like me pleases me. [00:12:00] So after a few hours with VP oh seven, what conclusions can we draw from this prototype? It's a Lotus 100%. That's what you wanted to hear. Isn't it fundamentally, I think the mirror is gonna be pretty brilliant. I mean, obviously this should be, you know, a happy hunting grind for it because this is it's home circuit where it's developed and it should behave well [00:12:30] on track even though this is the touring version, but my word it does. I mean, if there are any doubts about it being a proper OTI, you can forget them. Now What's more, I think the best is yet to come because I think that it says a row car out on the bumpy cam tarmac of the real world that this is really going to shine Speaker 1: Until next time Humira Shouldn't be long.

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