The instruments are digital and the infotainment is via a touchscreen with smartphone mirroring. The heating and ventilation controls are separate; an occupant wearing a crash helmet in a graphic is a cute touch.
The driving position is good. I find the seats a little unsupportive, but my colleagues don’t mind them. The pedals feel less offset than the Evora’s and the steering wheel, too squared-off for my taste and with buttons too easily inadvertently knocked as you twirl it, is at least widely adjustable. The stalks are shared with Volvo and Polestar (other Geely subsidiaries), which is no bad thing.
There’s keyless-start, one of a raft of features novel to a Lotus, like adaptive cruise control with a speed limiter, road-sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert and more. Things that being part of a big car company allow it. But the red flap over the start button suggests there’s still some raciness at heart.
So there is. The V6 fires to a cultured zing. You can see the supercharger-bypass actuator through the glass that sits between the occupants and the engine, and the motor is metal-topped, rather than shrouded in plastic. It looks good.
That said, the 50-metre test – how a car feels as soon as you pull away – could be more promising. It’s hard to gauge the revs precisely and easy to either bog down or slip some wasted revs. But the ride is composed and steering weighty (it’s still hydraulically assisted).
What doesn’t come is the immediate flow and flighty grace of the Alpine A110, which is perhaps unsurprising when the Emira weighs 1440kg to the French car’s 1105kg. I hear the argument that a Lotus ought to be the lightest car in any class in which it competes, but I suspect that Hethel would rather have a full order book than an under-challenged weighbridge; and with the Emira sold out for two years, it seems to have it.