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After being introduced to the world a month ago, the Lotus Emira has grandly made its American debut just in time for Monterey Car Week. The supercar was flown into the legendary Laguna Seca Raceway. Laguna Seca is regarded for several reasons, but the venue’s main claim to fame is the infamous “corkscrew.” 

The corkscrew is the nickname given to turns 7 and 8, which make up a downhill chicane preceded by a blind uphill crest. Even the most skilled drivers do not take the corkscrew lightly. So, who then was chosen to drive the brand new Lotus Emira around the challenging course? None other than Formula One World Champion Jenson Button.

The Lotus Emira is the last chapter of combustion engines.

Lotus Emira rounding a corner at Laguna Seca raceway.
Lotus Emira at Laguna Seca Raceway | Lotus

The Lotus Emira is a new mid-engined sports car from the iconic brand, in the middle of a landmark transition. The Emira will be the last car that Lotus produces, which is exclusively driven by an internal combustion engine. After the Emira, all cars from Lotus will either be hybrids or completely electric vehicles.

That makes the Emira an important car. It is a physical personification of Lotus’ commitment to changing the way they build their vehicles. It is also a bookmark in the brand’s history. It will not surprise us if the Lotus Emira becomes highly sought after in the collector market due to all that it signifies.

Can the Lotus Emira attract buyers at Monterey Car Week?

Lotus Emira rounding a corner at Laguna Seca raceway.
Lotus Emira with Jenson Button behind the wheel | Lotus

It has not yet been officially stated if the Lotus Emira will be a limited production car or if Lotus plans to do “mass” numbers. Furthermore, whatever that production number may be, how many cars will make their way to the United States and other markets is unclear.

However, the fact that Lotus decided to bring the Emira to Monterey Car Week signifies that they do consider the American market as one of their priorities for this car. The thing is, Car Week plays host to a wide variety of luxury and supercar debuts, most of which will have more numerically impressive stats than the Emira. 

Which begs the question: Can the Lotus Emira stand out in the crowd of the ultra-limited edition hypercars that it will share the spotlight with? At an estimated $80,000, we think that the Emira could attract the affluent demographic if it is positioned as an easy, no-fuss track car suitable for everyday road driving.

What did Jenson Button think?

Lotus YouTube channel

Jenson Button is a racer that has driven just about every type of vehicle that one could imagine. Beyond Formula One, Jenson has raced shifter karts, Super GT cars in Japan, off-road trucks, and that is only speaking in terms of motorsport. Jenson is known to have driven some of the best road cars ever made.

So, what does someone of Button’s experience think of the Emira after driving it on one of the most technical racetracks in the United States? It seems that he thinks the Emira is perfectly suited to track day duty. “This is such a great circuit, most road cars on tracks don’t work, but this does.”

With a seal of approval from a former F1 driver, a storied pedigree, and a competitive price, there is a chance that the Emira may signal a resurgence for the brand.


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