Tom,Lotus promised us a further note on suspension choices. But as that still hasn't arrived, here's my attempt. This draws on discussions with the Lotus team, published info and some of my previous posts.
The tl;dr version
You've got two suspension options and one of them also has two tyre choices. A lot depends on personal preferences, but if you want a simple answer...
Get Touring if your Emira will be a daily driver, used for long road trips, you drive on mixed road surfaces (including potholes, ruts, concrete highways with dividers, off camber roads), you're new to Lotus and have not previously had cars with a stiff suspension setup.
Get Sports if your Emira will be a weekend fun car and/or track toy, you drive on mainly smooth roads, you've previously driven cars with a stiffer suspension setup and prefer that. You've got two choices of tyres.
If you'll be driving in mainly warm, dry conditions and want the ultimate dry weather grip and performance then get the Michelin Cup2 tyres. But accept they will wear faster and are compromised at low temperatures (under about 7 degrees) and on wet surfaces. They are a track-focused tyre first, and you can use on the road.
For all other situations the Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres are a great all round fast-road and all weathers tyre (not "All Season" meaning winter sub-zero use too). They are also very capable on track for the occasional track day. These are the standard tyre with Touring.
Neither suspension option will be bone-shakingly stiff or armchair soft.
Of course it's also about personal preference. There will always be exceptions to the above and it's impossible to be prescriptive about all circumstances.
My Emira is for weekend fun on the local cross-country roads, longer road trips and a couple of track days per year. But I've gone for Touring because it better suits my local roads (often poor quality) and the trips I do, plus I prefer the Touring handling on track. The Lotus folks agreed with my choice for my circumstances. I also know people who currently daily drive Exiges and Evora 410s/GTs and are happy to have the stiffer setup in a daily, so are going for Sports on their Emira.
Here is Gavan Kershaw, Lotus Director of Attributes and head of the ride and handling team talking about the options:
For more details read on...
Many thanks for the great explanation and detail. I have locked in Touring spec but I am interested in limited slip diffs.
This is an extract from The Intercooler review “There are two chassis specifications, Sport and Touring, which come with different springs and dampers, with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tyres on the Touring model and Michelin Cup 2s on the Sport. The car I drove was a Touring, but with an optional limited-slip differential fitted.”
I never saw any drivetrain options other than Touring vs Sports. Can you shed any light on the comment about LSDs ?