Lotus will take on the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S Plaid, and Lucid Air Sapphire with its own high-performance electric sedan.
Due sometime next year as a 2025 model, the Lotus Emeya is the automaker's second EV, following the Eletre SUV. It's also latest in a set of premium, flagship sedans or fastbacks that emphasize performance, perhaps at the expense of efficiency.
The Emeya rides on the same Electric Premium Architecture as the Eletre, and borrows some styling elements from it, but has a coupe-like form Lotus describes as a "hyper GT." Like the Eletre, Lotus is also showing the Emeya with cameras instead of exterior mirrors, but that option might not be available for vehicles sold in the U.S. due to current regulations.
Functional elements include active air-intake shutters that close to reduce drag or open for cooling as needed, as well as an adjustable rear spoiler and rear diffuser.
Lotus will release full specifications later this year, but for now the automaker as confirmed that the Emeya's dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain will match the Eletre's 905 hp. That will get the sedan from 0-62 mph in under 2.8 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph, Lotus says.
The automaker also confirmed a 2-speed transmission and 102-kwh battery pack, but didn't discuss range. For reference, the Eletre, with a 112-kwh pack, is estimated at up to 373 miles on the more lenient European WLTP testing cycle.
DC fast charging at up to 350 kw can add up to 93 miles of range in approximately five minutes of charging, and complete a 10%-80% charge in just 15 minutes, Lotus claims.
At close to 5,500 pounds, the Emeya isn't the kind of light, nimble car that Lotus built its reputation on. But the automaker claims an active air suspension system, with sensors that read the road surface up to 1,000 times per second, plus the low center of gravity inherent in EVs, will deliver excellent handling.
Inside, the Emeya uses a freestanding landscape-oriented touchscreen and a slim digital instrument cluster as the main interface. Additional information is conveyed via a head-up display. A KEF audio system will be available, along with the combination of leather and Alcantara trim that's de rigueur in performance cars.
The Emeya will start production next year, likely at the same Wuhan, China, factory that builds the Eletre. Pricing will be released closer to launch, but a $150,000 base price is likely. That puts the Emeya in the same range as its rivals from Porsche, Tesla, and Lucid.
The Model S Plaid claims to be the quickest production car ever, with a 0-60 mph time claimed to be just below 2 seconds. But the Lucid Air Sapphire will challenge both the Tesla and Lotus on driving dynamics when it arrives in 2024. Lucid's CEO, Peter Rawlinson, once was chief engineer of Lotus Cars.
Porsche nailed the performance aspect of its Taycan, but has learned that it needed to emphasize range a bit more. So Lotus may need to make a similar adjustment to remain competitive. The automaker has teased a lightweight platform that will enable a future electric sports car, but the Emeya and Eletre are certainly not that.