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The great big "all the customer test drives" thread

Sure. I am going to babble a bit, but I'll try my best to describe it.

The car is a pre-prod model, and has the sport suspension with Cup2 tires. And as my luck would have it, it was pouring rain. I drove it for about 20 mins through side roads and on the interstate. The wipers worked just fine in rain detection mode, speeding up and slowing down as needed. The Cup2 tires, in this rain, worked just fine.

When I look back at the cars I have had for the last 10 years or so, they have been stuffed with technology, electronics, and luxuries. My current car is an Audi eTron GT, it does not get more electronic than that I think. I enjoyed all of the cars but recently realized how far away I have gotten from actually driving the cars. They do most of the driving, I am a passenger with a numb steering. Prior to that, I enjoyed a few superb sports cars, I love driving on the streets and on tracks. I don't have brand loyalty, I just genuinely enjoy driving, even in the rush hour.

The Emira just solidified or confirmed my realization that I have been missing what enjoyed the most about driving. It is about driving, being as close to being one with the car as possible. The mechanical bits, the feeling I get when shocks compress and rebound, when the rear diff starts chattering, comfortably commanding the car to do what most don't even get the chance to try.

The steering is heavy. It felt just right, I quickly recalled how it used to be and felt at home. The size is perfect, not rediculously thick like the recent ///M cars. It feels comfortable, familiar and certainly very communicative without being too chatty. I don't know what Lotus does to get this so right, but they certainly know what they are doing.

The clutch is heavy. Obviously, for someone who hasn't used a clutch for the past 10 years, it is normal. It picks up at a pretty deep compression of the pedal, just right for me. After all these years, I did not stall the car. That should tell you how right they got it. The shifter is delightful, rowing the gears was easy, I did not miss a shift.

The sport suspension is just superb. I drove our 2005 645 to the dealership, and on the way back I realized how harsh its shocks are compared to the Emira. The sport suspension is the right choice for me. I did not get to drive aggressively due to rain and crowded streets, but even taking interstate ramps, I could feel exactly how the shocks were working. The front/rear balance felt just right, again.

The brakes were grabby. It is to be expected, and again, exactly how I prefer.

Overall, the car is just the right size; not too big, not too small. Exiting and entering the dealership parking lot with dozens of cars crammed on all sides, I had no issues placing the car with confidence and navigating through the maze. The visibility is better than my eTron GT and the 645.

The Emira envelops you, hugs you even. It told me that the relationship will be complex, full of surprises, and it will give back in spades all of the efforts I put into learning to extract the most from it. I really felt an immediate connection and emotion toward it. I haven't had such a connection to any car for a very long time. I just smiled back. it has a lot to offer.

The engine and exhaust noise, again, just right in Sport mode. Just enough burbles and pops, not obnoxious like Porsches or some other cars. It sounds authoritative with presence.

Jaymee sold me on the car because he gave me a good history lesson on previous models; the Elise, Exige and mostly the Evora. He also technically explained how much of the Emira's chassis and mechanical bits are either the same or very similar to the Evora. Furthermore, unintentionally, he showcased his knowledge and confidence in servicing the cars. He has a dedicated track car, an R32, and regularly tracks it. He understands what people like me expect and want from the cars, he is ready to service them beyond recommended maintenance schedule. He is also keen to approach owners, interact with them and give his best advice. He understands we like getting dirty a bit, crawling underneath the car, and messing around a little; he welcomes such relations. His opinion is that the mechanical bits won't have issues, they are tried and true, but the unknown is the electronics. For me, as long as the mechanical bits perform, the rest I can either deal with it or will learn to be patient. The only issue with Lotus, historically, is getting new parts on time. As a low-volume manufacturer, Lotus only produces only so many spare parts. Again, I am more than okay with this.

If I can answer other questions, I'll be happy to do so, and promise to write much less where I can. I am genuinely excited about this car.

Cheers.
Thanks for your thoughtful response. It's interesting just how much your experiences with other cars before your Emira test drive mirror mine. After the lease ended on my BMW i8 a few years ago, I went with a more practical car, a BMW 530E. It's been a very nice car, full of luxury and conveniences, but it lacks any emotion. When I started reading about the Emira, I realized just how much I missed the joyful experience of driving a sports car. So, I've put down a deposit on the Emira, but fret about some of the niggling issues that have plagued the early deliveries. Whatever car I get will be my daily driver, so reliability is a concern. But damn, it sounds like the Emira is one hell of a fun car to drive :).
 
Thanks for your thoughtful response. It's interesting just how much your experiences with other cars before your Emira test drive mirror mine. After the lease ended on my BMW i8 a few years ago, I went with a more practical car, a BMW 530E. It's been a very nice car, full of luxury and conveniences, but it lacks any emotion. When I started reading about the Emira, I realized just how much I missed the joyful experience of driving a sports car. So, I've put down a deposit on the Emira, but fret about some of the niggling issues that have plagued the early deliveries. Whatever car I get will be my daily driver, so reliability is a concern. But damn, it sounds like the Emira is one hell of a fun car to drive :).
If it's a choice between rudimentary transport and thrilling.
Choose the thrill.
 
Thanks for your thoughtful response. It's interesting just how much your experiences with other cars before your Emira test drive mirror mine. After the lease ended on my BMW i8 a few years ago, I went with a more practical car, a BMW 530E. It's been a very nice car, full of luxury and conveniences, but it lacks any emotion. When I started reading about the Emira, I realized just how much I missed the joyful experience of driving a sports car. So, I've put down a deposit on the Emira, but fret about some of the niggling issues that have plagued the early deliveries. Whatever car I get will be my daily driver, so reliability is a concern. But damn, it sounds like the Emira is one hell of a fun car to drive :).
I always had a single car at any given time, the rest belongs to other family members. So, whatever I bought had to pull daily duties, capable enough at the track, and invite me to drive the back roads from time to time. Clearly, I forgot how much joy driving has given me Over the last few years.

The Emira will also be my daily driver, and I am going to enjoy life once again 😊
 
I always had a single car at any given time, the rest belongs to other family members. So, whatever I bought had to pull daily duties, capable enough at the track, and invite me to drive the back roads from time to time. Clearly, I forgot how much joy driving has given me Over the last few years.

The Emira will also be my daily driver, and I am going to enjoy life once again 😊
So according to your status, you submitted your order to the factory? Or did you submit a deposit, only?
 
After my first test drive, which I had enjoyed tremendously a week ago, I came to recognize that it was a bit of a blur. It was an introduction to the Emira, but not necessarily an understanding of the car. Not to mention that it was pouring rain that day. So, I asked for another chance to drive, and the dealership, Ourisman in Rockville, MD, kindly obliged.

It was a hot, humid, and dry day today. I spent just a few minutes more this time settling in and adjusting my seating position. It felt more comfortable and enjoyable. I pushed the seat a bit more rearwards, reclined it more, and adjusted the telescoping steering wheel outwards. The seating position felt exactly how I prefer. Visibility is really great on all sides.

Once I got on the road, the engine was already warmed up from the previous drive, so I started pushing a bit toward 5K RPM. The sound is really wonderful. The exhaust note with the supercharge whine creates a wonderful hard rock tune. I lowered the driver-side window, turned off the A/C, and the side induction noise joined the concert. I can listen to that tune all day long.

The car feels docile below 3500 RPM, and approaching ferocious near 5000, not like a race car ferocious, but with just the right amount of urgency, speed, and responsiveness. This is to mean that if at some point of the driving, you just want to calmly cruise around, keeping the RPMs low will give you that serenity. You want to play around? Push it to above 4500 and have fun anywhere. The transition from docile to ferocious is subtle, so well adjusted.

The shifter feels superb to me. It is easy to feel which gear you are in by just touching the shifter. There is a slight tremble to it as the RPMs increase, which gives you that additional sensation point. The gates are very well placed, so it is really tough to miss a shift in my opinion. It does not have that click or snap-snap sound, but more of a subtle clack sound. I like that it is different that the Porsche or Ferrari, it sounds unique to me. People with previous Lotus experience probably can describe it better.

The chassis is wonderful. Again, this one has the sport suspension, and it felt just right on the roads I drove. The was one patch of asphalt that had a large and sharp bump, and it was harsh going over it, but other than that all was smooth and more than adequate for my taste. There is a bit of dive and squatting during hard braking and acceleration, but nothing close to my Audi or G8x BMWs. However, I think it is a tiny bit more than a Cayman GT4, for example. At the same time, body roll, or lack thereof it is so very welcome. Lateral loads seem to be handled better than most regular Porsches and definitely far better than the M cars or Audi RS cars.

Once I was on the interstate, I pushed it closer to 6K RPM, and it is such a delight to listen to. As I went through a couple of under-bridges, it surprised me how authoritative a frigging Camry engine sounds with the special Lotus touch. Again, the mixture of the exhaust note, the supercharger whine coupled with the induction noise, is a rock riff I can listen to over and over again.

Then, I threw the car a bit hot into a 270 deg exit ramp, down to 3rd gear from 4th, hit briefly hit the throttle to bring the RPMs up, and the car just stayed composed, balanced, and planted. It handled the ramp beautifully. Without merging into local traffic, I immediately took the entry ramp immediately, and with some additional confidence, I pushed a bit harder, going down to 2nd gear. What a sound explosion!!!??? Just glorious! There weren’t any unexpected surprises in the handling. The fronts loaded nicely with the initial turn-in, then the rears loaded with the mid-throttle, and the Emira just glided through the ramp, while announcing that it is coming to the neighborhood.

Now merging into the Interstate again, WOT… shift to 3rd, 4th, 5th… I was blasting through jail-time speeds. I had to experience it for just a second or two. I immediately slowed down of course. But that feeling is going to stay with me for at least a few days. After that acceleration, shifting to 6th and coming down to 60 mph, the docile character took over, an easy ride, calm and comfortable. Well done Lotus!I!

I love the gearing on this car. Not too short, not too long. It makes you work far more than a Porsche, but to me that is welcome.

The drive was over, it felt great, and I am so glad I went back to drive a second time. I got into my Audi to drive home. What a stark contrast the two cars represent. The Audi feels luxurious, designed to make me feel spacious, comfortable, and safe with minimal driving input from me. Driving the Audi is serenity. At work, we more often take my car for off-site meetings, lunch appointments, etc. It is easy to converse and four people feel very comfortable in it. It is the perfect daily driver for both short and long drives, a truly wonderful GT experience.

The Emira says, “Get in, if you actually want to drive and enjoy driving; otherwise, take your Audi, or whatever the heck it is.” It is spartan, no one would call it luxurious, the infotainment screen is not well placed, some people may feel confined, and having a decent conversation in the car may be a bit more challenging. Forget taking phone calls while driving. The Emira: Just drive, forget your troubles, forget the external factors, focus on me, and enjoy the feel.


 
Despite the various @kitkat attempts to sabotage the Boardwalk demo, I was finally able to test drive it.
The Seneca Blue had a steering issue and was being stored at the garage. This was @kitkat first attempt to break the demos. However, Boardwalk managed to get a Dark Verdant Sports/Cup2 from LA over the past few days.

I arrived early and joined Kyle to get some gas at a nearby station that sold 100 Octane racing fuel @$10/gal. I had no idea you could get 91+ in NorCal. If you are interested, address is 975 Woodside Road. I rode as a passenger on the way to the station, which was a good opportunity to chat with Kyle, really nice guy, and to pay attention to little details here and there.
While we were getting gas, @kitkat second sabotage attempt came to light. There was a large nail on the front left of the tire which @kitkat must have left somewhere on the way as he was jealous of others driving the demos, especially a DV one coming from LA. I flagged this to Kyle and he had to point this out to Lotus USA. I drove on the way back to Boardwalk and then a whole saga unfolded. Buy a new Cup 2 front tire? Swap all wheels with the broken Seneca? The latter was not an option as Lotus USA was not comfortable with the swap. A new tire would mean waiting for hours. But tire pressure was stable and the route didn’t really allow for true spirited driving so we took it out gently to finish the ride.

My impressions:


  • Great looks as we all know. Dark Verdant is beautiful in the CA sun, certainly dark in the shade. I added picture showing a ray of light hitting the rear end for contrast. UBP on this color is rather unnecessary IMHO.
  • Steering/handling: steering feel reminded me of my Elise, loved it. Handling was hard to test in such route and with the nail from @kitkat; but based on a couple of on/off ramps, the grip is really good.
  • Suspension: Kyle said he was a bit tired of Sports after the trip from LA and would get his with the Tour suspension. I thought Sports was quite acceptable for our roads. Certainly firm but would still absorb bumps and indentations without breaking your back or unsettling the car.
  • Drivetrain: the highlight for me was the gearbox. Loved it. The action was precise and short. And the lever is perfectly located. I kept on comparing with my E46 M3 where the lever is kind of forward and then you are forced to sit closer to the pedals than ideal. The engine was stronger than I thought and I’m not sure how an additional 2-400 RPM would really make a difference. Even an additional 20-30hp would be really marginal to the experience. I’m sure my F80 is much faster but I loved how linear the Emira was, and it will keep me out of trouble.
  • Noise: Overall, found it pretty good. With windows closed, I’d say you hear 65% supercharger whine and 35% exhaust. Personally, I’d love to flip those figures. Once you open the windows you can hear that exhaust in full. Pretty epic for stock.
  • Seats: I found them comfortable, but I can see them providing limited support for someone shorter/skinnier. They simply do not add to the experience, but are fine for daily purposes.
  • Interior: It’s enough for me but if you are looking for refinement, this is not it. I’d say it’s one step below BMW/Audi. I did not like the digital instrument cluster, looks almost out of place with an “analog” car. The infotainment screen looks like glued on by a 10y old kid. Can’t believe they did not find a better way to integrate it.
  • Quirks: the crackling noise from the gearbox was VERY noticeable at very low speeds. The panel where the electric seat adjustments are located was coming apart. There was a clunk with steering at full lock.
  • Other: pedal placement is a non-issue and heel and toe becomes much easier. Steering wheel shape and size is fine. I also saw the Seneca, I liked the color a lot and seems to have some metallic flake to it.

My conclusions: the Emira is a grown-up Elise, which retains some of the defining Lotus features. I’m very much in but happy to wait.
Other bits from Kyle and my 2c:

  • US deliveries: FE 1.0 23 Q4- 24 Q1 | FE 2.0 24 Q2-Q3 | Base likely begins Q3…
  • I think we should all be happy to receive our cars later. Many quirks and gremlins remain; we should simply be patient and let Lotus address them. I think US Base consumers will be happiest of all from a quality control perspective.
  • 100k May seem like a lot but a 68k Golf R...
 

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I just drove the same dark Verdant FE 6spd Sport Suspension on Cup 2's at Boardwalk. Some similarities some differences to @Cachaco131 . I was very lucky and got to do an extended 45 minute drive into the Santa Cruz Mountains. Thank you Tom and Kyle.

I then jumped into my friends 718 GT4 manual on PS4S for immediate comparison.

Looks: stunning on the exterior, clean, modern, functional and infinitely nicer than any load as before. Far more stunning that GT4 though it is pretty and with the wing aggressive in its own right. Dark Verdant is nice in CA sun because the green and gold fleck comes out nicely. Longer wheelbase to GT4, but roughly the same length, and height though Emira is wider visually

Steering: No comparison. It's better than GT4 EPAS. EMIRA is more linear, full of feedback but less than Evora GT or obviously Exige/Elise. Weights up beautifully mid corner. I didn't mind the squarish steering wheel but some might

Suspension: Sport was perfect for me on these roads. I could drive this 4 hours to Thunderhill with zero fatigue. Beautiful damping, firm but not Cayman GT4 or even GTS firm. FLAT cornering on par with Cayman GT4 but slightly more trace dice and squat.

Drivetrain: linear, wonderful supercharged torque, there whenever you need it. Benign and easy to cruise when you want to quietly. They fixed the rev matching. Love the throttle pedal travel. Longer than GT4 and easier to modulate in a very fine way. gT4 has LESS torque below 5500 vs Emira. Really felt flat to me. But comes back and is more character full from 5500-8000. Emira did not feel under powered vs GT4. I know it IS slower but it doesn't feel that way and it definitely pulls harder down low.

We need Lotus to release a software update to raise the redline. You do bump into the redline at 6850 in Sport and Track modes in Emira vs 8000 is amazing in the GT4. You don't really notice it in spirited highway or mountain driving until you hit a straight and floor it. Fly wheel comparably light in both cars and very responsive. Easy to heel toe and left foot brake in both cars. Rightward pedal placement was not even in my consciousness the whole time but my buddy who owns the GT4 noticed it immediately.

Brakes:eek:n par with GT4 but Emira had better initial bite. No fade in the mountains for Emira. Modulation easy for both cars. For Track, I would put more aggressive pads like Endless or Pagid. Very well judged for spirited canyon drives.


Transitional stability is superb in both cars but Emira is easier to handle and modulate throttle, steering mid corner and in transitions. Double wishbones in Emira are simply better than the GT4 struts. I definitively like the front end of Emira better in the Mountains and on the normal roads. More front end grip than Evora GT. It's noticeable. Rear end of Emira also has more mechanical grip than GT4. This surprised me. Stability control amazing in Emira in track mode. Extremely confidence inspiring. Lively fun engaging joyful chassis as you pick up the pace in Emira. GT4 has brutal clinical competence but for my tastes, kind of boring unless you are on a track.

Shifter: 1-2 in Emira is a truck tranny and easy to misshift. 2-3-4-5-6 made for Emira by Lotus and those were amazing. Clickety clack. No slop. Very beautiful shift feel but more mechanical and slightly longer throws to GT4. I like the shorter throws and more clean 1-2 in GT4 better but I liked the experience and involvement of the Emira 2->6.
Clutch is firmer and heavier for Emira no doubt and better in the Cayman. But clutch take up is way easier than Evora GT. No chance of me stalling it whereas I stalled the Evora GT once at the beginning when I test drove it hard. Note the clutch in Emira is lighter than my old 997.2 Targa 4S.

Noise: both cars great in their own way. Intake supercharger dominant with 35% exhaust on Emira. GT4 kind of quite and nasally down low but opens up beautifully up high in that Porsche Boxer way. Easy fix with removing third cat on Emira. Cayman is more race car like at higher revs but Emira is no slouch. In 6th gear Emira is definitely quieter than GT4 yet has more useable torque at highway speeds.

Seats: very comfortable in Emira and with decent to good lateral grip for my body. Decent lumbar support and excellent adjustability. GT4 buckets excellent but lack of lumbar. Easy to road trip for hours in this. GT4 not so much.

Interior: Emira is much more thoughtfully designed versus GT4. GT4 feels old inside. Emira looks much more modern and artful because it is. The driver's display is so much more useful in Emira once you know where everything is. Build quality is on par with my BMW M2CS. 85-90% of Cayman GT4. Far better than the pre-pro Emira I drove at Hethel on track. Center display slow to change to Sport and Track modes. Otherwise clean, very functional. Kef audio once you turn up the mids and bass was in par with my Harmon Kardon in my M2CS. Better than the Bose in the GT4. VISIBILITY was way better out the rear than I thought. Mirrors are excellent, side and front as well as Blindspot ,b pillar visibility very good and better than Cayman. H-point/ sitting height perfect for me at 5ft 9 with shift torso and long legs , but if you are 6ft 2 or above you might feel like you are sitting a bit high vs GT4, and if you are 6Ft 4+ you will likely have helmet head room issues, but you WILL fit without a helmet. Plenty of leg room.

Quirks: Grinding sound 1st-2nd in Emira. Truck roots come out only here. The typical Lotus clunk at full lock. You can't selectively change steering weight, throttle response and stability control independently. Comfort, Sport and Track are very well judged. I would daily drive in sport and any spirited driving would be in track. I would never use comfort, even on long road trips. They are noticeably different with throttle response and stability control.

Squarish steering wheel is an acquired taste. I like it. Trunk mildly small but you absolutely can fit a carry on suitcase behind the seats and one in the trunk. You would have little trouble putting your 2 larger soft bags with all your track gear or weekend getaway gear. Rear trunk or parcel shelf behind the seats Will NOT fit a bigger suitcase. I am not concerned by this but would affect linger road trips if you and your partner are heavier packers.

Other: Tom and Kyle are amazing. I have now been working with them in my first Lotus for 2 years. Kyle is very responsive. Tom is a laid back guy with quiet confidence in the car. Not high pressure sales pitches from either of them.I highly recommend Boardwalk Lotus I redwood City.

Conclusions: I am sticking with my order. I am excited and invigorated after driving this on the roads and mountains and one of the few ro have driven it in anger on the track at Hethel. This car is a special one and it will be even more relevant as time goes on. Keep being patient those with orders. It will be worth it! P.S. the dude in the pic is not me.
PXL_20230704_221756787.jpg
PXL_20230704_231255692.MP.jpg
PXL_20230704_231602190.PORTRAIT.jpg
PXL_20230704_231310161.jpg
 
I just drove the same dark Verdant FE 6spd Sport Suspension on Cup 2's at Boardwalk. Some similarities some differences to @Cachaco131 . I was very lucky and got to do an extended 45 minute drive into the Santa Cruz Mountains. Thank you Tom and Kyle.

I then jumped into my friends 718 GT4 manual on PS4S for immediate comparison.

Looks: stunning on the exterior, clean, modern, functional and infinitely nicer than any load as before. Far more stunning that GT4 though it is pretty and with the wing aggressive in its own right. Dark Verdant is nice in CA sun because the green and gold fleck comes out nicely. Longer wheelbase to GT4, but roughly the same length, and height though Emira is wider visually

Steering: No comparison. It's better than GT4 EPAS. EMIRA is more linear, full of feedback but less than Evora GT or obviously Exige/Elise. Weights up beautifully mid corner. I didn't mind the squarish steering wheel but some might

Suspension: Sport was perfect for me on these roads. I could drive this 4 hours to Thunderhill with zero fatigue. Beautiful damping, firm but not Cayman GT4 or even GTS firm. FLAT cornering on par with Cayman GT4 but slightly more trace dice and squat.

Drivetrain: linear, wonderful supercharged torque, there whenever you need it. Benign and easy to cruise when you want to quietly. They fixed the rev matching. Love the throttle pedal travel. Longer than GT4 and easier to modulate in a very fine way. gT4 has LESS torque below 5500 vs Emira. Really felt flat to me. But comes back and is more character full from 5500-8000. Emira did not feel under powered vs GT4. I know it IS slower but it doesn't feel that way and it definitely pulls harder down low.

We need Lotus to release a software update to raise the redline. You do bump into the redline at 6850 in Sport and Track modes in Emira vs 8000 is amazing in the GT4. You don't really notice it in spirited highway or mountain driving until you hit a straight and floor it. Fly wheel comparably light in both cars and very responsive. Easy to heel toe and left foot brake in both cars. Rightward pedal placement was not even in my consciousness the whole time but my buddy who owns the GT4 noticed it immediately.

Brakes:eek:n par with GT4 but Emira had better initial bite. No fade in the mountains for Emira. Modulation easy for both cars. For Track, I would put more aggressive pads like Endless or Pagid. Very well judged for spirited canyon drives.


Transitional stability is superb in both cars but Emira is easier to handle and modulate throttle, steering mid corner and in transitions. Double wishbones in Emira are simply better than the GT4 struts. I definitively like the front end of Emira better in the Mountains and on the normal roads. More front end grip than Evora GT. It's noticeable. Rear end of Emira also has more mechanical grip than GT4. This surprised me. Stability control amazing in Emira in track mode. Extremely confidence inspiring. Lively fun engaging joyful chassis as you pick up the pace in Emira. GT4 has brutal clinical competence but for my tastes, kind of boring unless you are on a track.

Shifter: 1-2 in Emira is a truck tranny and easy to misshift. 2-3-4-5-6 made for Emira by Lotus and those were amazing. Clickety clack. No slop. Very beautiful shift feel but more mechanical and slightly longer throws to GT4. I like the shorter throws and more clean 1-2 in GT4 better but I liked the experience and involvement of the Emira 2->6.
Clutch is firmer and heavier for Emira no doubt and better in the Cayman. But clutch take up is way easier than Evora GT. No chance of me stalling it whereas I stalled the Evora GT once at the beginning when I test drove it hard. Note the clutch in Emira is lighter than my old 997.2 Targa 4S.

Noise: both cars great in their own way. Intake supercharger dominant with 35% exhaust on Emira. GT4 kind of quite and nasally down low but opens up beautifully up high in that Porsche Boxer way. Easy fix with removing third cat on Emira. Cayman is more race car like at higher revs but Emira is no slouch. In 6th gear Emira is definitely quieter than GT4 yet has more useable torque at highway speeds.

Seats: very comfortable in Emira and with decent to good lateral grip for my body. Decent lumbar support and excellent adjustability. GT4 buckets excellent but lack of lumbar. Easy to road trip for hours in this. GT4 not so much.

Interior: Emira is much more thoughtfully designed versus GT4. GT4 feels old inside. Emira looks much more modern and artful because it is. The driver's display is so much more useful in Emira once you know where everything is. Build quality is on par with my BMW M2CS. 85-90% of Cayman GT4. Far better than the pre-pro Emira I drove at Hethel on track. Center display slow to change to Sport and Track modes. Otherwise clean, very functional. Kef audio once you turn up the mids and bass was in par with my Harmon Kardon in my M2CS. Better than the Bose in the GT4. VISIBILITY was way better out the rear than I thought. Mirrors are excellent, side and front as well as Blindspot ,b pillar visibility very good and better than Cayman. H-point/ sitting height perfect for me at 5ft 9 with shift torso and long legs , but if you are 6ft 2 or above you might feel like you are sitting a bit high vs GT4, and if you are 6Ft 4+ you will likely have helmet head room issues, but you WILL fit without a helmet. Plenty of leg room.

Quirks: Grinding sound 1st-2nd in Emira. Truck roots come out only here. The typical Lotus clunk at full lock. You can't selectively change steering weight, throttle response and stability control independently. Comfort, Sport and Track are very well judged. I would daily drive in sport and any spirited driving would be in track. I would never use comfort, even on long road trips. They are noticeably different with throttle response and stability control.

Squarish steering wheel is an acquired taste. I like it. Trunk mildly small but you absolutely can fit a carry on suitcase behind the seats and one in the trunk. You would have little trouble putting your 2 larger soft bags with all your track gear or weekend getaway gear. Rear trunk or parcel shelf behind the seats Will NOT fit a bigger suitcase. I am not concerned by this but would affect linger road trips if you and your partner are heavier packers.

Other: Tom and Kyle are amazing. I have now been working with them in my first Lotus for 2 years. Kyle is very responsive. Tom is a laid back guy with quiet confidence in the car. Not high pressure sales pitches from either of them.I highly recommend Boardwalk Lotus I redwood City.

Conclusions: I am sticking with my order. I am excited and invigorated after driving this on the roads and mountains and one of the few ro have driven it in anger on the track at Hethel. This car is a special one and it will be even more relevant as time goes on. Keep being patient those with orders. It will be worth it! P.S. the dude in the pic is not me. View attachment 28672View attachment 28669View attachment 28670View attachment 28671
Fantastic and very detailed write-up! I read every word of it and really appreciate the GT4 comparison.
 
Fantastic and very detailed write-up! I read every word of it and really appreciate the GT4 comparison.
Oh man, I had to wait for the nail fix and you got the Santa Cruz mountains?!?! 😀 how many beers did you give to Tom and Kyle? 🍺

Good stuff! I didn't find 1-2 an issue, and the clutch compared to my e46 and old R56 was a piece of cake!

I agree with the commentary on the GT4. I spent hours in the LA crest highway (PDK though) and while it was fun, it just lacked some drama. The Lotus is more of an experience.

I have to disagree on the interior. My F80 feels like a RR in comparison. Maybe the demo was so abused that it have me that impression.
 
Some of the comments from @Hapkin are really interesting, I think the details of his drive are similar to mine, although he is able to better describe them.

I truly enjoyed and still miss two cars from the past: The E46 M3 and the 997.2 GT3. Strictly looking at the spec sheet of the Emira when it was first reviewed by a few journalists, it reminded me of the drives I had in those cars. I thought there is no way Lotus can bring back that level of enjoyment. But now after my test drives, I believe that's what they have done/accomplished with the Emira.

This is not about nostalgia or living the past again, but I believe with all the "advancements" in automotive technology, we gained some important new capabilities in our cars, but we also lost a lot of what gave me the enjoyment of being behind the wheel of a sports car.

So, when @Hopkin mentions that he was surprised the backend of the Emira felt to have more mechanical grip than the Cayman, which I felt as well but in isolation, not only it is true but it should not come as a surprise. The 997 generation has the same, and probably the newer 911s do as well, compared to their mid-engine counterpart. I always thought that the weight distribution always gave a huge advantage to the 911 platform. The Emira having a similar weight distribution, IMHO, will be far more enjoyable to drive on the streets, but also particularly on the track.

On top of this, add the double-wishbone suspension and how much better control we will have with the dynamic alignment both at the front and rear of the Emira compared to the 911 or 987 (which was one weakness of the 997/987/718), I am hopeful that getting on track with the Emira will be an unforgettable experience. I still remember the details of some of my drives of the 997, and if I have the chance o renew some of those experiences, I will be in heaven.
 
@Hapkin I had a very similar sensations when I did my first test drive. I am ok with waiting out for the Emira. At this point, I prefer they sort out as many issues as possible before I get my car.
 
Fantastic and very detailed write-up! I read every word of it and really appreciate the GT4 comparison.
Great write up. Thank you. I have my deposit in at Boardwalk as well. Kyle and Tom are great.
 
Some of the comments from @Hapkin are really interesting, I think the details of his drive are similar to mine, although he is able to better describe them.

I truly enjoyed and still miss two cars from the past: The E46 M3 and the 997.2 GT3. Strictly looking at the spec sheet of the Emira when it was first reviewed by a few journalists, it reminded me of the drives I had in those cars. I thought there is no way Lotus can bring back that level of enjoyment. But now after my test drives, I believe that's what they have done/accomplished with the Emira.

This is not about nostalgia or living the past again, but I believe with all the "advancements" in automotive technology, we gained some important new capabilities in our cars, but we also lost a lot of what gave me the enjoyment of being behind the wheel of a sports car.

So, when @Hopkin mentions that he was surprised the backend of the Emira felt to have more mechanical grip than the Cayman, which I felt as well but in isolation, not only it is true but it should not come as a surprise. The 997 generation has the same, and probably the newer 911s do as well, compared to their mid-engine counterpart. I always thought that the weight distribution always gave a huge advantage to the 911 platform. The Emira having a similar weight distribution, IMHO, will be far more enjoyable to drive on the streets, but also particularly on the track.

On top of this, add the double-wishbone suspension and how much better control we will have with the dynamic alignment both at the front and rear of the Emira compared to the 911 or 987 (which was one weakness of the 997/987/718), I am hopeful that getting on track with the Emira will be an unforgettable experience. I still remember the details of some of my drives of the 997, and if I have the chance o renew some of those experiences, I will be in heaven.
Yes! Now that you mention it, Emira splits the difference in rear end grip between my 997.2 Targa 4S on Cup 2's and the 718 GT4 on PS4S's. The Cayman is more mid-engined and the Emira has more rearward biased mid-engined balance. This gives you some amazing confidence rocketing out of corners. What was also interesting was that the double wishbones build camber mid corner in Emira so you can again have more control and can get on the throttle faster. There is slight corner entry understeer in Emira, 718 GT4 and my old 911. It was the worst in the 911 tbh but the DSC controller I added back then helped with initial turn in somehow.With the Cayman and 911, I felt like the weight transfer was over stilts mid-corner, vs being sucked into the ground with Emira. With Emira, maybe a slightly bigger anti-roll bar will take away the slight corner entry understeer. Again, it's very benign and not a confidence sapping feeling in Emira. Once that suspension takes a stance, the mechanical grip LSD, and weight balance takes over and it is a cornering monster.
 
Just test drove the yellow demo car at Autosport in Long Island NY today. I own a C8 Corvette a C7Z06 and a Dodge Viper.

Absolutely loved the car. So much better than what I imagined or expected. So nimble and light with good enough power. So Viseral.

The car looks so much better than any photos.

Would I buy one ? not sure.

It no longer presents the somewhat cost /value that it was before the price increase. (As far as I know of.....No other manufacturer has had the increase in pricing that Lotus had added to the EMIRA due to inflation)

The other issue is quality of build and bugs, the demo car had quite a few issues and additionally there is a weak dealer network and LOTUS is not known to getting repair parts delivered to the dealer network the same way Porsche or General Motors does. ( parts delved within 3 days or so)

I loved the car and want one, but am holding off due to pricing and concernwith poor quality. I just can't be tied up having a car in service constantly .
 
Just test drove the yellow demo car at Autosport in Long Island NY today. I own a C8 Corvette a C7Z06 and a Dodge Viper.

Absolutely loved the car. So much better than what I imagined or expected. So nimble and light with good enough power. So Viseral.

The car looks so much better than any photos.

Would I buy one ? not sure.

It no longer presents the somewhat cost /value that it was before the price increase. (As far as I know of.....No other manufacturer has had the increase in pricing that Lotus had added to the EMIRA due to inflation)

The other issue is quality of build and bugs, the demo car had quite a few issues and additionally there is a weak dealer network and LOTUS is not known to getting repair parts delivered to the dealer network the same way Porsche or General Motors does. ( parts delved within 3 days or so)

I loved the car and want one, but am holding off due to pricing and concernwith poor quality. I just can't be tied up having a car in service constantly .
Pretty sure waiting a year or two for a lightly used one is the right move if you don't absolutely have to be the first to have one.
 
Pretty sure waiting a year or two for a lightly used one is the right move if you don't absolutely have to be the first to have one.
100% exactly my thoughts, I have plenty of cars ( and 4 Harleys and 2 Ducati motorcycles) to keep me happy, and would rather wait for the quality to get ironed out. And I prefer to buy a low miles used car that has already been sorted out by the previous owner. This is a car that someone else can take the initial depreciation hit due to the current pricing, and at the same time I rather let that same person sort the car out with 10,000 or so miles on the odometer.

BUT I am so impressed !! This EMIRA car reminds me so much of the old school light weight cars that were more visceral, like the older Alfa"s and BMW's from the 1970's.
Total joy to drive. The demo car had the sport suspension which I really liked and did not find to be too harsh for my tastes. (lotus sport suspension still way more comfortable than my Viper)
My corvettes totally lack that visceral feel and are numb ( like being in a Cadillac or Lexus tuned sports car) and the Viper is visceral but in a sledgehammer visceral way. I would actually prefer to describe the Viper as crude instead of visceral.

I now understand why LOTUS owners are so loyal to the brand, Its the amazing communication with the road and the sensitivity of the car to the road.

I was truly smiling from ear to ear driving the car. If the car was $85K USD and reliable I would get one with no reservations.

I definitely want one even more after the test drive. Great car.
 
Two things I forgot to mention and that is that the exhaust note was awesome even at idle with the car parked. Sounds great in person. Very deep and throaty, well done lotus. Inside the exhaust sounds were also excellent.

And I am happy (finally that LOTUS is giving loaner test drive cars to dealerships to offer for test rides.

The test drive that I had drew my intrest back in towards the EMIRA again after losing interest for a while.

Looking at the specs and photos and reviews and YouTube videos does only so much, but once behind the wheel, all the negative thoughts disappear and the fun begins.

drives light and airy.... like eating the sweetest sponge cake.
 

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