The Lotus Emira Uses a Toyota Engine to Go Really, Really Fast

The Lotus Emira really is for the drivers. Frankly, it’s a brand for those who care more about the experience of driving a sports car than anything else. If you want to be seen, buy a Ferrari. If you want to be heard, buy a Lamborghini. But if you want to drive? Lotus wants to talk to you. However, the heart of the new Emira starts from a rather mundane place: A Toyota factory.

Lotus power, Toyota reliability

A row of Toyota Camry sedans at a dealership in California
This is where the Lotus V6 starts life | Yichuan Cao via Getty Images

That’s right. The Lotus Emira has the heart of a filthy economy car. Moreover, this isn’t even the first Lotus to have the heart of a filthy economy car. In fact, the Lotus Evora started that trend way back in 2009. So, at the very least, that means that the Lotus Emira’s Toyota engine has had some time to grow into its sports car shoes. And boy, did it need to grow.

The Toyota 2GR-FE V6 motor is pretty much your standard V6 engine. It makes… some horsepower, and some torque too if you ask real nice. But, by the time Lotus gets done with it, it’s making a healthy 400 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. It’s also breathing through a new exhaust and supercharger. Best part is, all that Toyota reliability makes its way into something that’s widely held to be notoriously unreliable: a British sports car.

How fast is the Lotus Emira?

The new Lotus Emira, seen in blue during a photoshoot
400 hp should be plenty | Lotus

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So, with 400 hp and an optional dual-clutch transmission, you can expect the Lotus Emira to be plenty fast. MotorTrend says that Lotus told them the Emira will get up to 60 MPH in right around 4.5 seconds. No, that’s not Tesla Model S Plaid fast, but not all cars need that to feel fast. Having driven a few Lotus’ (Loti?) before, I can tell you firsthand that their small dimensions and pared-back interior make them feel plenty fast. Oh, the Lotus Emira will also do 180 mph.

The best part? That isn’t even the only powertrain option. You can also have a Mercedes-AMG four-cylinder motor, which, complete with turbo, makes 390 hp. That’s not too shabby, but I’ll take the proven reliability of Toyota’s V6 over that every day of the week. That is unless Lotus can make me change my tune.

Toyota’s V6 is the end of the line for gas-powered Lotus cars

Lotus' last gas-powered sports car: the Emira
The last gas Lotus is a sign of the times | Lotus

No matter which powertrain, the Lotus Emira will be the last gas-powered Lotus. It’s the end of a very long line of legendary cars, from Formula 1 to the street. It’s a crying shame, yes, but attitudes have shifted towards EVs, and the company’s own Lotus Evija is evidence of that. For now, customers will have to be content enjoying the gas-powered Lotus cars that are around, and hopefully, preserve them for those of us that can’t afford a new one.

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