The instruments are digital and the infotainment is via a touchscreen with smartphone mirroring. The heating and ventilation controls are separate; a resident wearing a crash helmet in a graphic is a sweet touch.
The driving position is good. I find the seats a bit unsupportive, but my colleagues do not mind them. The pedals feel less staggered than the Evora’s and the steering wheel, too square for my liking and with buttons that are too easily inadvertently tapped while turning it, is at least wide adjustable. The stems are shared with Volvo and Polestar (other Geely subsidiaries), which is not bad.
There is a keyless start, one of a number of new features for a Lotus, such as adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, road sign recognition, alarm about transverse traffic at the rear and much more. Things that are part of a big car company allow it. But the red flap over the start button suggests that there is still some racism at heart.
So there is. The V6 fires to a cultured spice. You can see the supercharger bypass actuator through the glass that sits between the passengers and the engine, and the engine is metal-top, rather than encased in plastic. It looks good.
That said, the 50-meter test – how a car feels as soon as you pull away – could be more promising. It is difficult to measure the revolutions accurately and easy to either slip or slip some wasted revolutions. But the ride is complex and steering important (it’s still hydraulically assisted).
What does not come is the immediate flow and flying grace of the Alpine A110, which may not be surprising when the Emira weighs 1440 kg to the French car’s 1105 kg. I hear the argument that a Lotus should be the lightest car in any class it competes in, but I suppose Hethel would rather have a full order book than an under-challenged weight; and with Emira sold out for two years, it seems to have it.