New 2024 Lotus Emeya: 893bhp EV sets sights on Porsche Taycan

The Lotus Emeya packs the firm’s new-age EV tech in a four-door GT bodystyle

Lotus has set itself the onerous task of selling 150,000 cars per year by 2028, and while that may sound optimistic – even in light of record sales in the first half of this year – the company is at least delivering cutting edge products off the back of an industry-wide shift towards EVs. The latest is this: the Emeya electric saloon. It uses the same core technology as the Eletre SUV, and while that car is expected to hoover up more sales, the lower, lighter Emeya should be more in line with the character we expect from a Lotus. 

Designed to compete with high-end four-door EVs from Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and Tesla, much of the Emeya’s mechanical specification is already familiar. Riding on the same 800V Electric Premium Architecture (EPA) platform as its SUV stablemate, it uses a pair of electric motors (one at each axle) to generate a combined 893bhp in top-spec R form – 142bhp more than the astonishingly rapid Porsche Taycan Turbo S. Admittedly, the Porsche does carry a slight torque advantage, but the Emeya’s tarmac-wrinkling 726lb ft figure isn’t to be sniffed at. 

To give the powertrain more flexibility (if it needs such a thing), the rear motor uses a two-speed transmission to optimise power delivery across different speed ranges, and the effect is dramatic. The Emeya R sprints to 62mph from rest in just 2.78sec, and from 50mph to 75mph in under two seconds. Top speed is set at 159mph, and while Lotus hasn’t indicated how much the Emeya weighs, it’ll almost certainly sit on the wrong side of two tons given that the Eletre comes in at 2490kg.

Specifics for lesser models haven’t been announced either, but if the Eletre is anything to go by, the base Emeya and Emeya S will use the same 595bhp dual-motor setup with a bump in equipment and specification for the latter. Range is also yet to be confirmed, but expect the Emeya’s 102kWh battery to deliver a similar number to the taller, heavier, 112kWh Eletre, which achieves up to 373 miles depending on spec. Thanks to 350kW rapid charging capability, topping up from 10-80 per cent takes as little as 18 minutes.

Lotus promises that the new saloon will offer class leading dynamics, thanks in part to its electronically controlled air suspension; this scans the road ahead 1000 times a second to prime itself for the surface, continuously adjusting the dampers to optimise ride quality and control. The Eletre’s suite of chassis electronics – designed to conjure the agile, accurate feel that defines the brand – will likely be carried over, comprising rear-wheel steering and active anti-roll bars.

The ‘porous’ design theme set out by the Evija hypercar, and subsequently followed by the Emira and Eletre, continues here. Air channels and active flaps in the front grille direct flow around the car to improve efficiency, while providing cooling for the Emeya’s battery and brakes. Performance-led elements such as a deployable rear lip spoiler and an active diffuser add downforce at speed, with the rear wing contributing up to 215kg on its own. 

The Emeya’s interior is trimmed in sustainable fabrics and repurposed cotton, with the same tech-heavy environment seen first in the Eletre. An enormous landscape-orientated touchscreen dominates the dashboard, flanked by two display strips to relay driving and media information to the front occupants. A 55-inch augmented reality head-up display, a Dolby Atmos-enabled KEF sound system and noise-cancelling acoustics are among the tech highlights.

The Emeya will enter production in 2024 and is expected to be priced similarly to the Eletre, which starts from £89,500 and rises to £120,000 for the flagship R. The Lotus’s key rival, the Porsche Taycan, covers a wider market with a starting price of less than £80k in base rear-wheel drive form, stretching to nearly £150k in Turbo S guise. 

The forthcoming Polestar 5 is a curious comparison to the Emeya, as both Polestar and Lotus are part of the Geely group. Yet despite the similar market placement of both four-doors, the two won’t synergise their structures or technical elements. 

Unlike the fairly normal mixed-metal chassis of the Emeya, it’s actually Polestar which has invested in the development of a bespoke bonded aluminium construction, one that’s being engineered at Polestar’s UK engineering hub in Northamptonshire. Ironically, this architecture style is one that was previously pioneered by none other than Lotus itself to the benefit of reducing weight and increasing torsional stiffness.

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