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The great big "all the customer test drives" thread

Lotus64

Emira Fan
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Location
Midwest USA
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Emira Owner
My automotive background; I have a good amount of experience on road courses and auto-crossing. I’ve never owned an automatic vehicle. I’ve never driven a Lotus. The closest I’ve gotten is experiencing a 991.1 GT3 PDK on track, which was magnificent. I have a deposit for an Emira V6 6MT.

I drove the car a few hours ago and have tried to capture all my immediate reactions. I spent about 15 minutes in the car, driving on city roads on a pre determined route. This car was equipped with the sport suspension and Michelin cups. I completed the entire drive with the windows down and in sport / track mode.

The first thing I immediately noticed about the Emira, after stumbling with pushing the electronic parking brake to release it, was the directness of all of the driver inputs. The sensitivity of the accelerator and clutch felt intimidating at first while I pulled off from the lot, as i was determined not to headline amateur hour by stalling the vehicle or unnecessarily slipping the clutch. If the clutch / accelerator handoff isn’t done smoothly and delicately, the Emira will let you know!

There is zero slack in the Emira’s controls, including the steering, clutch actuation, brakes, accelerator response and shifting action. The clutch is fairly light and engagement is near the very top of its travel. The shift knob is small, yet felt great in hand and there was absolutely zero play in the gates. Shift action felt metallic in its action, as opposed to rubbery or buttery. I felt the length of the throws as well as the shift effort was medium.

The steering is light, yet extremely direct, changing direction when immediately off center. The steering wheel felt great in hand. Whereas some steering systems immediately want to return to center or resist changes to the driver’s steering inputs, the Emira’s steering faithfully follows the driver’s steering inputs. It felt ultra responsive without being nervous. The car is quick to change direction: however I didn’t get a chance to corner at high enough speeds to fully experience the mid engine handling dynamics.

Near redline, the Emira is one of the sexiest cars I’ve ever heard, period. I was giggling and cursing uncontrollably any time I explored the upper ranges of the tachometer. It sounds absolutely delightful! It makes exotic music with delightful notes from the supercharger and exhaust. With the windows down, the noise was spine tingling encompassing and very loud, and I cannot fathom wanting it any louder. It’s just right. It sounded so unbelievably good and was an absolute joy to row through the gearbox and perform rev matched downshifts. The gears were tightly spaced, and I routinely rowed through gears 1-4 in the city. At lower revs, the engine sound is similarly exotic, yet definitely subdued, which I think is appropriate so that the driver is able to control the level of raucousness with the throttle and / or drive mode. I was happy with the amount of power and felt it was usable on the street.

The sports suspension was a pleasant surprise. It felt very good, even over broken pavement! It was reasonably firm, yet compliant over Michigan’s war torn, pothole ridden roads. Major road imperfections were felt in the cabin, yet quickly dissipated without reverberating through the chassis or feeling jarring. The sports felt comfortable enough for daily use. I was absolutely set on Tour before the test drive; however now I’m slightly leaning towards sport suspension for my configuration. The cabin had some road / drivetrain noise, but NVH was not excessive at all. Whereas the tour suspension may cut back some NVH, I felt that the sport suspension offered an immediacy to the ride / handling that was approapriateiy matched to the immediacy of the rest of the controls. Seems like you can't go wrong either way, and apparently the dampening rates aren't that different anyway.

The Interior was surprisingly spacious yet intimate. It looked premium and very well put together at a glance, and everything within reach felt nice. The stitching was beautiful and it smelled nice. The seats were comfortable, although I wish the adjustment would have gone a little bit lower, as I then had to raise the steering wheel a little higher than I normally would have liked in order to move it without hitting my knees. The graphics on the instrument cluster were bright and crisp and the shift light was very cool. The steering controls were a little large, yet they were responsive. The infotainment screen is just ok. It is responsive enough, but seemed to have a learning curve higher than average in my opinion and could be a little brighter.

I tried out an FM station on the KEF Radio. I rolled up the windows, then adjusted the EQ levels to my preferred settings. It sounded so-so. Obviously digitally compressed audio source will sound better, but my first impression was just average sound quality.

In conclusion, the Emira met or exceeded all of my expectations. It’s the real deal. I’ve never driven a car that was so immediate in its responses and faithful to the drivers inputs as the Emira. I may have never driven a Lotus before, but I can still immediately recognize the qualities in the Emira that have long been hallmarks of the Lotus Brand that are absent in other brands. Driving this car has forever shifted my paradigm of what it means to for a car to be responsive. It was so much fun to drive this car and truly an event, even around town at legal speeds. I cannot wait to join the club and explore more of the chassis.
 

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In the past I've tried to curate various threads about test drives into a few focused threads. With more demo cars now arriving in Europe and US - and "soon" in UK - let's try again.

This thread is for all customer test drive reviews with production-spec dealer demo cars. Where possible please include basic info about the car you drove, particularly the suspension (Touring or Sports) and tyres (Eagle F1 or Cup2). Some info about the mix of road types and surface qualities is useful, as is an idea of what other cars you have owned as comparisons to the Emira.

The emphasis is on the test drive and review itself, and any questions people have on that. It's not about "when is my dealer getting a demo car" discussions!

Happy testing!


Moderator edit: added 10 Nov 2022 copying from post later in thread

Hi everyone, I've been doing some curating of this thread since it started, to ensure the focus remains as originally intended: test drives on the road of production cars by forum members.

I've had to delete more posts in the last few days, so wanted to make a few points:
  • The focus is on the review from the test driver. It's their context and their opinion. If you disagree that's OK but we're not getting into long debates here
  • Asking questions to clarify is fine
  • Correcting factual inaccuracies is fine, such as how the e-brake is supposed to work
  • Track driving experiences belong in the Track Experience thread here
  • Reviews from other sources will be moved or removed, this is for reviews by forum members
  • Side topics and points of detail that extend to multiple posts may be moved to their own thread (eg warranty)
  • Discussions straying off into debates of the Emira's characteristics and competitors will be removed, but test drivers making comparisons to other cars they have driven is fine in that context
  • (...and sometimes I break my own rules ;) )
Remember, people are here to read about driving and using the car, so let's keep it #forthedrivers

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write up their reviews, it's been great to read them all and I'm sure is whetting the appetite for everyone waiting for their own test drive.
 
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My automotive background; I have a good amount of experience on road courses and auto-crossing. I’ve never owned an automatic vehicle. I’ve never driven a Lotus. The closest I’ve gotten is experiencing a 991.1 GT3 PDK on track, which was magnificent. I have a deposit for an Emira V6 6MT.

I drove the car a few hours ago and have tried to capture all my immediate reactions. I spent about 15 minutes in the car, driving on city roads on a pre determined route. This car was equipped with the sport suspension and Michelin cups. I completed the entire drive with the windows down and in sport / track mode.

The first thing I immediately noticed about the Emira, after stumbling with pushing the electronic parking brake to release it, was the directness of all of the driver inputs. The sensitivity of the accelerator and clutch felt intimidating at first while I pulled off from the lot, as i was determined not to headline amateur hour by stalling the vehicle or unnecessarily slipping the clutch. If the clutch / accelerator handoff isn’t done smoothly and delicately, the Emira will let you know!

There is zero slack in the Emira’s controls, including the steering, clutch actuation, brakes, accelerator response and shifting action. The clutch is fairly light and engagement is near the very top of its travel. The shift knob is small, yet felt great in hand and there was absolutely zero play in the gates. Shift action felt metallic in its action, as opposed to rubbery or buttery. I felt the length of the throws as well as the shift effort was medium.

The steering is light, yet extremely direct, changing direction when immediately off center. The steering wheel felt great in hand. Whereas some steering systems immediately want to return to center or resist changes to the driver’s steering inputs, the Emira’s steering faithfully follows the driver’s steering inputs. It felt ultra responsive without being nervous. The car is quick to change direction: however I didn’t get a chance to corner at high enough speeds to fully experience the mid engine handling dynamics.

Near redline, the Emira is one of the sexiest cars I’ve ever heard, period. I was giggling and cursing uncontrollably any time I explored the upper ranges of the tachometer. It sounds absolutely delightful! It makes exotic music with delightful notes from the supercharger and exhaust. With the windows down, the noise was spine tingling encompassing and very loud, and I cannot fathom wanting it any louder. It’s just right. It sounded so unbelievably good and was an absolute joy to row through the gearbox and perform rev matched downshifts. The gears were tightly spaced, and I routinely rowed through gears 1-4 in the city. At lower revs, the engine sound is similarly exotic, yet definitely subdued, which I think is appropriate so that the driver is able to control the level of raucousness with the throttle and / or drive mode. I was happy with the amount of power and felt it was usable on the street.

The sports suspension was a pleasant surprise. It felt very good, even over broken pavement! It was reasonably firm, yet compliant over Michigan’s war torn, pothole ridden roads. Major road imperfections were felt in the cabin, yet quickly dissipated without reverberating through the chassis or feeling jarring. The sports felt comfortable enough for daily use. I was absolutely set on Tour before the test drive; however now I’m slightly leaning towards sport suspension for my configuration. The cabin had some road / drivetrain noise, but NVH was not excessive at all. Whereas the tour suspension may cut back some NVH, I felt that the sport suspension offered an immediacy to the ride / handling that was approapriateiy matched to the immediacy of the rest of the controls. Seems like you can't go wrong either way, and apparently the dampening rates aren't that different anyway.

The Interior was surprisingly spacious yet intimate. It looked premium and very well put together at a glance, and everything within reach felt nice. The stitching was beautiful and it smelled nice. The seats were comfortable, although I wish the adjustment would have gone a little bit lower, as I then had to raise the steering wheel a little higher than I normally would have liked in order to move it without hitting my knees. The graphics on the instrument cluster were bright and crisp and the shift light was very cool. The steering controls were a little large, yet they were responsive. The infotainment screen is just ok. It is responsive enough, but seemed to have a learning curve higher than average in my opinion and could be a little brighter.

I tried out an FM station on the KEF Radio. I rolled up the windows, then adjusted the EQ levels to my preferred settings. It sounded so-so. Obviously digitally compressed audio source will sound better, but my first impression was just average sound quality.

In conclusion, the Emira met or exceeded all of my expectations. It’s the real deal. I’ve never driven a car that was so immediate in its responses and faithful to the drivers inputs as the Emira. I may have never driven a Lotus before, but I can still immediately recognize the qualities in the Emira that have long been hallmarks of the Lotus Brand that are absent in other brands. Driving this car has forever shifted my paradigm of what it means to for a car to be responsive. It was so much fun to drive this car and truly an event, even around town at legal speeds. I cannot wait to join the club and explore more of the chassis.
Great write up, thanks for taking the time to reflect on your drive and articulate your experience so clearly.

Particularly interesting to hear from someone who has not owned or driven a Lotus before. Those of us who discovered them a few years ago are inclined to say "now do you understand?" at this point. Welcome to the forum and a Grade A first post.
 
My automotive background; I have a good amount of experience on road courses and auto-crossing. I’ve never owned an automatic vehicle. I’ve never driven a Lotus. The closest I’ve gotten is experiencing a 991.1 GT3 PDK on track, which was magnificent. I have a deposit for an Emira V6 6MT.

I drove the car a few hours ago and have tried to capture all my immediate reactions. I spent about 15 minutes in the car, driving on city roads on a pre determined route. This car was equipped with the sport suspension and Michelin cups. I completed the entire drive with the windows down and in sport / track mode.

The first thing I immediately noticed about the Emira, after stumbling with pushing the electronic parking brake to release it, was the directness of all of the driver inputs. The sensitivity of the accelerator and clutch felt intimidating at first while I pulled off from the lot, as i was determined not to headline amateur hour by stalling the vehicle or unnecessarily slipping the clutch. If the clutch / accelerator handoff isn’t done smoothly and delicately, the Emira will let you know!

There is zero slack in the Emira’s controls, including the steering, clutch actuation, brakes, accelerator response and shifting action. The clutch is fairly light and engagement is near the very top of its travel. The shift knob is small, yet felt great in hand and there was absolutely zero play in the gates. Shift action felt metallic in its action, as opposed to rubbery or buttery. I felt the length of the throws as well as the shift effort was medium.

The steering is light, yet extremely direct, changing direction when immediately off center. The steering wheel felt great in hand. Whereas some steering systems immediately want to return to center or resist changes to the driver’s steering inputs, the Emira’s steering faithfully follows the driver’s steering inputs. It felt ultra responsive without being nervous. The car is quick to change direction: however I didn’t get a chance to corner at high enough speeds to fully experience the mid engine handling dynamics.

Near redline, the Emira is one of the sexiest cars I’ve ever heard, period. I was giggling and cursing uncontrollably any time I explored the upper ranges of the tachometer. It sounds absolutely delightful! It makes exotic music with delightful notes from the supercharger and exhaust. With the windows down, the noise was spine tingling encompassing and very loud, and I cannot fathom wanting it any louder. It’s just right. It sounded so unbelievably good and was an absolute joy to row through the gearbox and perform rev matched downshifts. The gears were tightly spaced, and I routinely rowed through gears 1-4 in the city. At lower revs, the engine sound is similarly exotic, yet definitely subdued, which I think is appropriate so that the driver is able to control the level of raucousness with the throttle and / or drive mode. I was happy with the amount of power and felt it was usable on the street.

The sports suspension was a pleasant surprise. It felt very good, even over broken pavement! It was reasonably firm, yet compliant over Michigan’s war torn, pothole ridden roads. Major road imperfections were felt in the cabin, yet quickly dissipated without reverberating through the chassis or feeling jarring. The sports felt comfortable enough for daily use. I was absolutely set on Tour before the test drive; however now I’m slightly leaning towards sport suspension for my configuration. The cabin had some road / drivetrain noise, but NVH was not excessive at all. Whereas the tour suspension may cut back some NVH, I felt that the sport suspension offered an immediacy to the ride / handling that was approapriateiy matched to the immediacy of the rest of the controls. Seems like you can't go wrong either way, and apparently the dampening rates aren't that different anyway.

The Interior was surprisingly spacious yet intimate. It looked premium and very well put together at a glance, and everything within reach felt nice. The stitching was beautiful and it smelled nice. The seats were comfortable, although I wish the adjustment would have gone a little bit lower, as I then had to raise the steering wheel a little higher than I normally would have liked in order to move it without hitting my knees. The graphics on the instrument cluster were bright and crisp and the shift light was very cool. The steering controls were a little large, yet they were responsive. The infotainment screen is just ok. It is responsive enough, but seemed to have a learning curve higher than average in my opinion and could be a little brighter.

I tried out an FM station on the KEF Radio. I rolled up the windows, then adjusted the EQ levels to my preferred settings. It sounded so-so. Obviously digitally compressed audio source will sound better, but my first impression was just average sound quality.

In conclusion, the Emira met or exceeded all of my expectations. It’s the real deal. I’ve never driven a car that was so immediate in its responses and faithful to the drivers inputs as the Emira. I may have never driven a Lotus before, but I can still immediately recognize the qualities in the Emira that have long been hallmarks of the Lotus Brand that are absent in other brands. Driving this car has forever shifted my paradigm of what it means to for a car to be responsive. It was so much fun to drive this car and truly an event, even around town at legal speeds. I cannot wait to join the club and explore more of the chassis.
That was a great write up, thanks! And I'm not buying the car for the radio either..:)
 
Agreed! Great first post!

I was surprised to read the clutch was light. IIRC, most every other review suggests a heavy clutch.

Have you driven any other manual cars to compare the clutch to?
 
Agreed! Great first post!

I was surprised to read the clutch was light. IIRC, most every other review suggests a heavy clutch.

Have you driven any other manual cars to compare the clutch to?
I‘d also say it‘s on the firmer side of clutch engagement force. But it‘s still miles away from the Cayman 981 GT4, which was the heaviest I ever had.

In comparison my M2 (N55) clutch felt as if it was loose / saggy as I returned to my car after the testdrive.
 
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Agreed! Great first post!

I was surprised to read the clutch was light. IIRC, most every other review suggests a heavy clutch.

Have you driven any other manual cars to compare the clutch to?

I'll clarify. I didn't really mean that the clutch pedal is light in effort. I meant that it responds to a light touch. I think the relatively short throw of the clutch pedal gave me the initial perception that it's lighter than it really is. The engagement zone is at the very top of the clutch pedal travel, which isn't that unusual for a manual: however I'd say that the friction point in the Emira is especially snappy and abrupt, and it doesn't take much travel to reach. I'd describe it as aggressive and racy.

My lasting first impression after my brief time in the car wasn't so much about the heft of the clutch pedal as much as the sensitivity. I drive two other manual vehicles on a daily basis and the effort of the Emira's clutch pedal was not especially high in comparison to my Dodge Challenger Scat Pack, although maybe a little higher. It was certainly less forgiving, with a narrower engagement zone.
 
Back home from my test drive and gotta keep this short and sweet.... I'll add more details tomorrow if I have time.

Me and a buddy (who also has an Emira order in) drove 4 hrs roundtrip to get to our 9AM test drive this morning. There were some other exotics in the lot and the Emira was the most stunning car out of them all (I'm biased, but also a huge Ferrari fan and the Emira looked better than the 458 and California). It was Nimbus, red leather, sport chassis w/F1s. The test drive route was terrible.... down a busy city street and through a neighborhood with speed bumps. I'm not even upset though! The car sounded AMAZING. I drove it in all 3 modes. Shifts felt great IMO. I like the notchy (maybe not the correct word) percise shift feeling (similar to my 04 and 06 STI... and that transmission was bullet proof). The interior quality seemed stellar! The red seats were beautiful (not too much at all) and all knobs and other elements felt solid. I tried pulling on everything. The gauges were easy to see. I synced up wireless Android Auto and that worked flawlessly. I cranked the KEF stereo and it sounded fantastic to me (I'm no audiophile, but know when a system sounds bad and this had some decent bass and clarity that I could appreciate). Oh, and the brakes are ridiculous. I have electronic braking on my GTI and that took a while to get used to, but the Emira braking was super touchy. Something I could get used to. The steering wheel and pedal position were fine for me.. though it was only a short test drive with minimal turns and I wasn't sliding around a track trying to catch the wheel in different positions. Seating position was fine, but did feel high when I jumped in an Evora GT after my Emira test drive and it felt much lower.

Here's a pic and I posted a few others on my IG account for anyone interested.

image_50393089.JPG


20221022_091346.jpg
 
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Back home from my test drive and gotta keep this short and sweet.... I'll add more details tomorrow if I have time.

Me and a buddy (who also has an Emira order in) drove 4 hrs roundtrip to get to our 9AM test drive this morning. There were some other exotics in the lot and the Emira was the most stunning car out of them all (I'm biased, but also a huge Ferrari fan and the Emira looked better than the 458 and California). It was Nimbus, red leather, sport chassis w/F1s. The test drive route was terrible.... down a busy city street and through a neighborhood with speed bumps. I'm not even upset though! The car sounded AMAZING. I drove it in all 3 modes. Shifts felt great IMO. I like the notchy (maybe not the correct word) percise shift feeling (similar to my 04 and 06 STI... and that transmission was bullet proof). The interior quality seemed stellar! The red seats were beautiful (not too much at all) and all knobs and other elements felt solid. I tried pulling on everything. The gauges were easy to see. I synced up wireless Android Auto and that worked flawlessly. I cranked the KEF stereo and it sounded fantastic to me (I'm no audiophile, but know when a system sounds bad and this had some decent bass and clarity that I could appreciate). Oh, and the brakes are ridiculous. I have electronic braking on my GTI and that took a while to get used to, but the Emira braking was super touchy. Something I could get used to. The steering wheel and pedal position were fine for me.. though it was only a short test drive with minimal turns and I wasn't sliding around a track trying to catch the wheel in different positions. Seating position was fine, but did feel high when I jumped in an Evora GT after my Emira test drive and it felt much lower.

Here's a pic and I posted a few others on my IG account for anyone interested.

View attachment 10026

View attachment 10027
Congrats! Happy that you got to take a test drive. 😎

Man, it's been super-encouraging to hear all of these reviews from "regular Joes" starting to come out; everyone seems to love the car. I cannot friggin wait. 💪
 
Back home from my test drive and gotta keep this short and sweet.... I'll add more details tomorrow if I have time.

Me and a buddy (who also has an Emira order in) drove 4 hrs roundtrip to get to our 9AM test drive this morning. There were some other exotics in the lot and the Emira was the most stunning car out of them all (I'm biased, but also a huge Ferrari fan and the Emira looked better than the 458 and California). It was Nimbus, red leather, sport chassis w/F1s. The test drive route was terrible.... down a busy city street and through a neighborhood with speed bumps. I'm not even upset though! The car sounded AMAZING. I drove it in all 3 modes. Shifts felt great IMO. I like the notchy (maybe not the correct word) percise shift feeling (similar to my 04 and 06 STI... and that transmission was bullet proof). The interior quality seemed stellar! The red seats were beautiful (not too much at all) and all knobs and other elements felt solid. I tried pulling on everything. The gauges were easy to see. I synced up wireless Android Auto and that worked flawlessly. I cranked the KEF stereo and it sounded fantastic to me (I'm no audiophile, but know when a system sounds bad and this had some decent bass and clarity that I could appreciate). Oh, and the brakes are ridiculous. I have electronic braking on my GTI and that took a while to get used to, but the Emira braking was super touchy. Something I could get used to. The steering wheel and pedal position were fine for me.. though it was only a short test drive with minimal turns and I wasn't sliding around a track trying to catch the wheel in different positions. Seating position was fine, but did feel high when I jumped in an Evora GT after my Emira test drive and it felt much lower.

Here's a pic and I posted a few others on my IG account for anyone interested.

View attachment 10026

View attachment 10027
Great photos Nimbus looking Fabulous with the Red leather ( my spec not biased lol 😝) great to hear real reviews by customers, I’m literally bursting to get a demo ride Hurry Up Hurry Up Demo cars for UK 🇬🇧 need a dry day 🤞
 
Back home from my test drive and gotta keep this short and sweet.... I'll add more details tomorrow if I have time.

Me and a buddy (who also has an Emira order in) drove 4 hrs roundtrip to get to our 9AM test drive this morning. There were some other exotics in the lot and the Emira was the most stunning car out of them all (I'm biased, but also a huge Ferrari fan and the Emira looked better than the 458 and California). It was Nimbus, red leather, sport chassis w/F1s. The test drive route was terrible.... down a busy city street and through a neighborhood with speed bumps. I'm not even upset though! The car sounded AMAZING. I drove it in all 3 modes. Shifts felt great IMO. I like the notchy (maybe not the correct word) percise shift feeling (similar to my 04 and 06 STI... and that transmission was bullet proof). The interior quality seemed stellar! The red seats were beautiful (not too much at all) and all knobs and other elements felt solid. I tried pulling on everything. The gauges were easy to see. I synced up wireless Android Auto and that worked flawlessly. I cranked the KEF stereo and it sounded fantastic to me (I'm no audiophile, but know when a system sounds bad and this had some decent bass and clarity that I could appreciate). Oh, and the brakes are ridiculous. I have electronic braking on my GTI and that took a while to get used to, but the Emira braking was super touchy. Something I could get used to. The steering wheel and pedal position were fine for me.. though it was only a short test drive with minimal turns and I wasn't sliding around a track trying to catch the wheel in different positions. Seating position was fine, but did feel high when I jumped in an Evora GT after my Emira test drive and it felt much lower.

Here's a pic and I posted a few others on my IG account for anyone interested.

View attachment 10026

View attachment 10027

Thanks for the write up! If you had to chose one thing besides its looks, what was your favorite thing about the car???
 
I was at the same test drive location as @VL3X. Agreed the test drive route wasn’t great. So I can’t really comment on the specifics of the car / drive. It went by in a flash. But one thing I will add, was the visibility was surprisingly great all around, and the side mirrors looked sensational.

I think someone asked for a shot of a seatbelt, I may have imagined it. I also took one of the boot. And the wheel g a a a p…


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I just got back from test driving the same car. I’ve driven the following Lotuses over the years: ‘85 Turbo Esprit; Series III Super Seven Super Sprint; Elise; Exige; Evora S.

The Emira is light years ahead in build quality and construction. Beautiful car, inside and out. Very comfortable car (loved the seats, wheel, shifter, and pedals). The materials used inside are way better than previous models. The test drive road (as mentioned before) was a very broken up and cracked city streets. This was a Sports chassis with Goodyears, and it did well even on the bad pavement. Way more comfortable than a Cayman R (I have many miles behind the wheel of one). The shifter is very positive and fun and engaging. Engine sounds fantastic (the 4 cylinder crowd will be missing out on this aspect). Easy car to drive. Very liveable/every day-able. Nice power but not overpowering by any means. Brakes were fantastic (I like a super sensitive pedal, and this was). Overall, liked the car very very much.
 
Same Nimbus car driven as mentioned above... thanks to Ray and the North Jersey Lotus team! Let me just say, wow. I had previously seen the reveal, sat in the car, toured the factory, watched endless videos online and analyzed what and who said what and why, and now... having just driven the car, I'm blown away. The steering is sooo precise, and the wheel is in no way too chunky as some have said... not in the least. The brakes were insane... ride quality (despite this being sport package on imperfect roads) was exceptional for a car like this, but above everything else was just the immersive experience of control and the SOUND! It sounded incredible in the cabin... thats all I can say. I was already stoked about the car, and can't wait for mine but I didn't think I could've been surprised, and I most definitely was. What a job, Lotus.
 
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I just got back from test driving the same car. I’ve driven the following Lotuses over the years: ‘85 Turbo Esprit; Series III Super Seven Super Sprint; Elise; Exige; Evora S.

The Emira is light years ahead in build quality and construction. Beautiful car, inside and out. Very comfortable car (loved the seats, wheel, shifter, and pedals). The materials used inside are way better than previous models. The test drive road (as mentioned before) was a very broken up and cracked city streets. This was a Sports chassis with Goodyears, and it did well even on the bad pavement. Way more comfortable than a Cayman R (I have many miles behind the wheel of one). The shifter is very positive and fun and engaging. Engine sounds fantastic (the 4 cylinder crowd will be missing out on this aspect). Easy car to drive. Very liveable/every day-able. Nice power but not overpowering by any means. Brakes were fantastic (I like a super sensitive pedal, and this was). Overall, liked the car very very much.
How would you rate the steering feel over the Cayman R?

Hydraulic steering in a new car in 2022 is the only reason I’m still in line for an Emira, and I’d like to use the 987 as the benchmark.
 
Back home from my test drive and gotta keep this short and sweet.... I'll add more details tomorrow if I have time.

Me and a buddy (who also has an Emira order in) drove 4 hrs roundtrip to get to our 9AM test drive this morning. There were some other exotics in the lot and the Emira was the most stunning car out of them all (I'm biased, but also a huge Ferrari fan and the Emira looked better than the 458 and California). It was Nimbus, red leather, sport chassis w/F1s. The test drive route was terrible.... down a busy city street and through a neighborhood with speed bumps. I'm not even upset though! The car sounded AMAZING. I drove it in all 3 modes. Shifts felt great IMO. I like the notchy (maybe not the correct word) percise shift feeling (similar to my 04 and 06 STI... and that transmission was bullet proof). The interior quality seemed stellar! The red seats were beautiful (not too much at all) and all knobs and other elements felt solid. I tried pulling on everything. The gauges were easy to see. I synced up wireless Android Auto and that worked flawlessly. I cranked the KEF stereo and it sounded fantastic to me (I'm no audiophile, but know when a system sounds bad and this had some decent bass and clarity that I could appreciate). Oh, and the brakes are ridiculous. I have electronic braking on my GTI and that took a while to get used to, but the Emira braking was super touchy. Something I could get used to. The steering wheel and pedal position were fine for me.. though it was only a short test drive with minimal turns and I wasn't sliding around a track trying to catch the wheel in different positions. Seating position was fine, but did feel high when I jumped in an Evora GT after my Emira test drive and it felt much lower.

Here's a pic and I posted a few others on my IG account for anyone interested.

View attachment 10026

View attachment 10027
So million dollar question, you were pretty annoyed before understandably.

Are you still gonna get it?
 
How would you rate the steering feel over the Cayman R?

Hydraulic steering in a new car in 2022 is the only reason I’m still in line for an Emira, and I’d like to use the 987 as the benchmark.
It was lighter and more delicate than the Cayman R. I personally liked the Emira’s steering feel and feedback more than the CR
 
It was lighter and more delicate than the Cayman R. I personally liked the Emira’s steering feel and feedback more than the CR
That’s great to hear.

Going from hydraulic to EPAS, one of the things that has irked me immensely was as per OP’s observation, every time you turned the steering, it kept wanting to pull the other way and return to centre, as opposed to following your initial input and feeding back to your hands via the steering wheel the conditions of the road.
 

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