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Is the Emira really a "Supercar"?

mr_joshua

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I'd like to raise a controversial question around the use of the term "supercar"? I've seen the term thrown around this forum as well as articles from leading industry mags. I'd be the first to admit that my ego benefit from being viewed as someone who owns a "supercar" (I'm shallow, I admit it). But on paper and in my very humble opinion, I simply consider the Emira a sports car.

The best I can tell, this car competes closely with the Supra, the BMW M2 and the Porsche 718 - hell, even the new Nissan Z is going to be in the running. All "drivers cars", all just up to or right around 400bhp with 0-60's in and around 4.0 seconds (most slightly above, Emira included by early indications). None of that screams "supercar" to me. Yes, it's significantly better designed than all of those cars combined but pretty sculpted lines does not a supercar make.

I realize this is a fairly academic question and not meant to start a pedantic debate about qualifications of sports-super-hyper car dichotomy. Just want folks general opinion of whether they consider or agree that the Emira is a "supercar" and what makes it so in your mind?

I'll also contradict myself a little and call out that as a kid I always saw the Esprit, Testarossa, Coutach and 911 on the same plane even though on paper there were remarkable differences. In some ways the Emira slots better against some true super cars the same way the Esprit did. But alas.. those were "simpler" times.
 
Yes, I'd certainly consider an Emira a "supercar" and even an "exotic" here in the States. Here's why...

"In a hierarchy that begins with sports cars and ends with hypercars, supercars are the high-performance middle, featuring vehicles that are more than capable of tearing up the track and leaving common sports cars in the dust."

I'd consider vehicles like a WRX, GTI, Type R, Nissan Z, Corvette (gasp!), Caymans, etc.. to be common sports cars. All very capable on the track in stock form, yet very common and very popular to spot on the street. They are mass produced and widely available. The Emira is in a class above these cars in price, rarity, and stock form track capabilities.

Yes, Lotus plans to produce as many Emiras as they possibly can, but there will never be as much demand (or supply) as something like a Cayman has. Therefore it will always be a special thing to spot a Lotus in the wild.
 
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Yes, I'd certainly consider an Emira a "supercar" and even an "exotic" here in the States. Here's why...

"In a hierarchy that begins with sports cars and ends with hypercars, supercars are the high-performance middle, featuring vehicles that are more than capable of tearing up the track and leaving common sports cars in the dust."

I'd consider vehicles like a WRX, GTI, Type R, Nissan Z, Corvette (gasp!), Caymans, etc.. to be common sports cars. All very capable on the track in stock form, yet very common and very popular to spot on the street. They are mass produced and widely available. The Emira is in a class above these cars in price, rarity, and stock form track capabilities.

Yes, Lotus plans to produce as many Emiras as they possibly can, but there will never be as much demand (or supply) as something like a Cayman has. Therefore it will always be a special thing to spot a Lotus in the wild.
Well, I can't really disagree with any of that. Very good points.
 
I agree with a lot of what @VL3X says and I'd call the Emira a junior supercar.

Supercars aren't just about on-paper performance, there's exoticness of design and materials, rarity, handling, price. I also think there's often an element of impracticality (like awkward entry, limited storage) and something slightly crazy about them. Supercars usually tick most of these boxes but often not all of them. The Emira is interesting because it's deliberately combining some of these supercar elements (particularly the looks and rarity) but is more sportscar-like on others such as price. Hence "junior" in my view.

This is one of the more sensible and balanced explanations I've read, with some useful examples but no Lotus cars included!

The other criteria I use, slightly tongue in cheek, is do I qualify to attend Supercar Sunday at Goodwood? The Esprit and Evora qualify, and I'm sure the Emira will.

A few years ago there used to be "supercar parking" at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which my Evora qualified for. They now call it "performance parking" and will let all kinds of things in ;)
 
I’d say “no” to supercar, as it’s performance isn’t at that level. The term was coined when the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959 hit the scene and blew away the competition in terms of acceleration, grip, handling- you name it. The Lamborghini Countach was seen as an “exotic” car. Exotic describes a car that’s rare, has a performance bent, and looks like nothing else. In this regard, I’d submit that the Emira will hit the market as an exotic car, but not a supercar.
Of course, if Lotus overproduced the Emira, and they become as common as Boxsters and Caymans, then it will cease to be exotic and become simply a sports car.
 
Lots of great views (great thread Mr Joshua!) and it's all shades of grey as it's down to perception and which definition of "Supercar" you believe to be correct.

So why was Superman Superman?! He was stronger, faster, smarter, better looking and just an all-round better man than most of us. (Same goes for Superwoman of course...)

So "Supercar" was coined for cars like the Miura and those that came after it. In looks, performance and desirability it was cut above everything else. When you look at the Emira as a package (and a brilliantly pitched one at that) it does not tick the "Super" box in all categories, but the now commonly applied term of "Junior Supercar" fits it perfectly to my mind for that reason, performance and price being the two main areas where it falls short of "Super" status. And that works for me, and, I suspect, all of you!

You know what it really is though when you look at every aspect, is a Superpackage - bullseye. In fact, it may even be a Hyperpackage! :cool:
 
But all indications are the GT4 is a track only car, at least the recently announced one. In the future who knows what variant would be released...
Correct - but I'll be gobsmacked if the opportunity for a road-going version is missed by Lotus - they'll sell as many as they can make!
 
Nope, it is not. It is not intended to be a supercar. It fills a niche at a price point that competes with the baby Porsche. I think it was a smart segment to go after.
 
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Nope, it is not. It is not intended to be a supercar. It fills a niche at a price point that competes with the baby Porsche. I think it was a smart segment to go after.
It's actually kinda funny because it was always Lotus' segment. Other makers really just muscled in and filled it better. But just as the Esprit was a more elusive and sexier sports car than the Porsche 944 back in the day, I think the Emira parallels that now against the Cayman (though I think the Cayman is a significantly better car than the 944 ever was). It's certainly supercar looks for sports car pricing.
 
I have one on order but no way it is a supercar. Go walk around and look at a Ferrari or Lambo or McLaren. That is not this car. This car is an English Cayman which is not a supercar. Great sports car though.
 
I’ve always thought of a super car as one whose maintenance and repair costs I can’t afford 😉. Other definitions could be (1) a car I’m afraid to drive for fear something will happen to it, (2) a car I come to know by rubbing it with a diaper rather than driving it, or (3) something I can’t afford to insure. Have you ever heard the expression, “if I can do it, it’s not art”? Well, if I can own it, it’s not a super car. Hahah
 

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