"I want prompt feedback from the steering; I want to be able to know what the front wheels are doing", is a statement commonly heard among enthusiasts and owners who drive BMWs and Porsches. Until Lotus comes into the picture, that is. Although Lotus hasn't been stalwarts in terms of sales and global recognition, when Ferrari raced during Enzo Ferrari's supervision, Lotus was among its main contenders on the racetrack. The British marque vanished from racing many moons ago, but there's something to these light-weight sports cars that stares one in the face. Something extraordinary; something as nice as pie. The formula started out with the Mark VII and has witnessed evolution over generations. Lotus can still be experienced as a brand through its latest baby: the Emira First Edition.

The Lotus Emira First Edition: One Last Blast

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After Lotus was acquired by Geely and Etika Automotive in 2017, Lotus mentioned it was going to sound the death knell for internal combustion cars, with a major switch to a fully electric model line-up by 2028. And the very first result of that decision is the high-performance Evija that's in its prototype stage at the moment. The Emira will be the last hurrah for the Hethel-based brand as far as petrol-engines are concerned.

Related: All-Electric Evija Hypercar Digitally Inherits F1 Legend Type 49's V8 Audio

The Emira First Edition Looks Beautiful

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When the Emira was first revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year, it made people want to gawk at it, click pictures of it and save it as their lockscreen wallpaper on their smartphones - that's how voguish it appears. The beautifully sculpted surfaces and detailing give it proper supercar sex appeal. It's timeless to look at and is sure to be an ever-lasting memory in the years ahead. Nobody could tell this is a Lotus, but now that we know what Russell Carr and his design team are capable of, we know what their cars are going to look like hereafter. Even the materials have seen a step-up in terms of fit and finish. Details like the tapered roofline, the cut-outs in the rear fenders and the shapely doors will make you ogle without batting an eyelid. The exit vents on the bonnet have been inspired from the Evija electric hypercar; so have the all-LED vertical headlights and twin-blade design. The Lotus roundel appears bigger than usual.

"Of course a Ferrari will get you all the friends you want, but the Lotus will get you the girl you need."

The 20-inch forged alloy wheels come in silver/black gloss, while the brake calipers can be had in any one of the four colors available. Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport or Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres comes as part of the Drivers Pack. Move to the rear, and you will see an air-exit vent on either side of the wheel arches. Think hard, and the tail lights start to look like strawberry jam delicately spread over the tail with the skill of cakebaker. As for the twin exhausts - these are sure to be popping and crackling in the tunnel, intimidating almost anything behind it. You can spec your Emira First Edition in any of these six colors: Nimbus Grey, Dark Verdant, Seneca Blue, Shadow Grey, Hethal Yellow and Magma Red. Of course, a Ferrari will get you all the friends you want, but the Lotus will get you the girl you need.

The Lotus Emira: Try It On Sir

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If you've known Lotus for long enough, ensuring the driver is at the centre of the experience is their prime objective when it comes to ergonomics and the layout of instrumentation. All the controls fall in place perfectly - and what particularly stands out is the modern design, technology and materials used to complete the cabin. The wraparound dashboard creates a sense of feeling one with the cockpit - it's like wearing on a sleeveless jacket and looking smart in it. British craftsmanship is evident - right from the placement of the gearstick to the partly exposed gear linkage. And then there's that little quintessential supercar feature: the red flip-over cover on the engine start/stop button. The seats have been designed keeping in mind high-speed cornering, with good comfort to boot. Don't forget to look at the flat-bottomed steering and the fully digital instrument cluster behind it - this is a cockpit from Lotus like never before.

Related: A Look Back At The Lotus Seven Roadster

Power For The Course

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The Emira First Edition is powered by a Mercedes-AMG sourced M139 turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine making 360hp. Lotus considers it the world's most powerful engine of its type. There's even a Toyota-sourced, 3.5-liter supercharged V6 that makes 400hp and 420Nm of torque. The 2.0-liter engine sends power to the rear wheels through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.

It's a Lotus; a new one. And perhaps the only 'affordable' Lotus you can park in your $2 Million glass home without feeling underwhelmed about what the neighbors may have nextdoor. And that isn't all. Unlike other carmakers, Lotus lives up to its marketing tagline: "For The Drivers."


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