Lotus is an iconic British sports car marque founded on the principles of simple, lightweight and agile platforms that offer some of the best handling packages on the market. Lotus’ product line has begin to evolve dramatically, with the company launching a brand new sports car package known as the Emira, which will be joined by an all-electric SUV called the Eletre.

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Founded in 1948 by British motorsport champion, Colin Chapman, Lotus is known as one of the most accomplished manufacturers and racing teams in the UK, famed for its light weight creations, agile handling and hugely successful Formula 1 race team.

Colin Chapman, a racing icon founded the company with a now famous design philosophy of simplifying, and then adding lightness. As a result, Lotus’ production cars have been incredibly light weight and offer remarkable handling characteristics that mimic their racing siblings.

Lotus has won seven Formula 1 titles and was, at one point in time, widely known as one of the most influential factory racing teams in the paddock. In terms of its modern lineup, the latest Emira brings the Lotus name back to the forefront of two-seat sports coupes, while the upcoming Eletre electric SUV shows what’s to come from its battery-electric creations.

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Lotus models by body type

Lotus FAQs

Until the upcoming Eletre electric SUV arrives, the two-seat Lotus Emira sports coupe remains the only Lotus vehicle on sale here in Australia which, in the form of the V6 First Edition with a manual transmission, is priced at $199,990 before on-road costs. When they arrive, the rest of the Emira range will be priced from $155,990 for the entry-level Emira I4, while the I4 First Edition will be priced at $177,990, with prices rising to $169,990 for the Emira V6 manual and up to $173,990 for the V6 automatic.

Lotus’ passenger cars are heralded as extremely special vehicles due to the racing heritage of the brand and its founder, Colin Chapman, incredible handling characteristics and the design philosophy behind the vehicles which focusses on keeping things simple, and adding lightness. For example, the Lotus Emira gives buyers the choice of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 268kW of power and 430Nm of torque which powers the rear wheels, while the 3.5-litre V6 produces 298kW of power and 430Nm of torque. Combined with a light weight construction, sporty suspension package and hardcore brakes, the Emira takes a purists’ approach to performance motoring and offers racecar-like handling in a comfortable, luxurious and refined road car.

In the past, Lotus’ vehicles have had a mixed reception when it comes to reliability, though this reputation has increased as the company modernises its construction and quality control measures. You might be surprised to hear that Lotus actually sources the 3.5-litre V6 engine for the Emira from Toyota, a company widely-known for its reliability, while the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder powering the entry-level Emira is sourced from Mercedes-AMG, another company known for its reliable and high-powered engines. Owner reports for previous models like the Elise show an impressive 4 stars out of 5 for reliability, while this will only increase in the company’s next-generation of vehicles thanks to a larger manufacturing base and new parent company, Geely.

The lowest price Lotus currently available in Australia is the entry-level Emira I4, which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG, and is priced at $155,990 before on-road costs are applied. Lotus is yet to confirm prices for the Eletre battery-electric SUV, which may result in an entry-level model priced below the Emira I4, or the company’s mid-size SUV planned for a 2025 release.

In spite of the fact it was released six-decades ago, the Lotus Elan remains the best-selling Lotus vehicle to date, with around 12,224 vehicles sold since its introduction back in 1962. Interestingly, the Elan was available as a kit that owners could assemble themselves, or with the help of a mechanic and was featured in a popular TV series at the time that helped Lotus sell far more examples of the Elan than any other Lotus vehicle, making it the best-selling vehicle ever.

Since its creation, Lotus has created 131 different vehicles, kicking off with the Mark I back in 1948, with the most recent car coming in the form of the Emira sports coupe which hit the Austarlian market in 2023. By 2026, Lotus is planning to bring this number up to 135 vehicle models in total, with the introduction of the Eletre electric SUV later in 2023, the 133 battery-electric sedan, 134 battery-electric SUV and the 135 all-electric supercar which is planned for a 2026 release.

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