If you thought of a premium, powerful electric car that was not an SUV, I'm sure the first models that would come to mind would be the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S, surely the two benchmarks in the category. From today, however, there is also the Lotus Emeya, which we had the chance to test in its sportiest variant, the 918 PS R, on the beautiful alpine roads between Germany and Austria.

Stylistically, it takes up the styling cues introduced by Lotus with the Eletre SUV, but reworking them in a more sporty key. Inside, it's beautifully made and as comfortable as it is sharp to drive. How was it? Let's explore below.

Exterior | Interior | Driving | Prices

Lotus Emeya: Exterior

The new Lotus Emeya disguises its size very well thanks to a futuristic, minimalist design made sharp but at the same time elegant by the shape of the body panels that nicely alternate sharp and softer lines. This is not to say it is not huge as it is 5.14 metres long, 2 metres wide and about 1.45 metres high, with the latter figure varying depending on the height of the air suspension.

Lotus Emeya (2024) road test

Lotus Emeya (2024)

The design is eye-catching and different from anything we are used to seeing, which is certainly a plus point for this hyper GT. Looking at it from the front, the LED headlamps on three levels, above the matrix modules and below the dipped headlamp cluster, immediately stand out, the profile is sleeked by the large wheels up to 22" in diameter and the rear end looks very wide thanks also to the thin LED strip that runs from side to side making it look even more placed than it already is.

As they did on its sister Eletre, on this Emeya the designers and engineers have worked hard on the study of aerodynamics which envisages a series of active elements both front and rear useful for performance, cooling and to keep the car glued to the ground. The splitter for example is active, as is the rear spoiler which can be adjusted to three different angles for a maximum downforce generated of over 215 kg at high speed.

Lotus Emeya: Interior

Settling aboard the Emeya, it is impossible not to be immediately impressed by the perceived and constructive quality of the cabin, which is of the highest level. The assemblies are extremely solid and on all surfaces luxury materials such as Alcantara, Nappa leather and aluminium coexist in harmony with sustainable high-tech yarn made from cotton waste from the fashion and clothing industry.

Lotus Emeya (2024) road test

Lotus Emeya (2024)

It is the technology that dominates, however, as the central infotainment screen is enormous and from here almost all of the car's functions are managed, including climate control, which may seem inconvenient but has on its side a graphically successful and very fluid software that already makes operation intuitive after a short time. In addition to this there are three other screens: two slim ones, the instrumentation behind the steering wheel and one in front of the passenger seat that is very well integrated into the dashboard, and the augmented reality head-up display projected directly onto the windscreen.

Lotus Emeya (2024) road test

Lotus Emeya (2024)

Lotus Emeya (2024) road test

Lotus Emeya (2024)

As you can see from the photos, the attention to detail is of a high calibre, as also demonstrated by the extraordinary finish of the KEF audio system that is standard on all versions. If you wish, you can also have a more powerful system, again KEF but with more than 2,000W of power. I had the chance to try it out and I found it to be one of the best ever in terms of sound cleanliness and immersiveness.

As far as space is concerned, thanks to the more than 3-metre wheelbase, inside you can travel very comfortably, and there are a series of features that make the journey even more relaxing such as the massaging and even cooled rear seats. Big - but not too big - is the boot that has a minimum capacity of 509 litres that can be used more in depth than in height. Under the front bonnet there is also a small frunk useful for storing charging cables.

Lotus Emeya: Driving

As I mentioned earlier, the star of this first contact is the Lotus Emeya in its sportiest variant, the R with 918 PS and 985 Nm of maximum torque. Acceleration is frightening as it sprints from 0 to 62 in 2.78 seconds with a top speed of more than 162 mph, exceptional numbers that make it a direct rival to the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. Unlike these, however, it has a less brutal acceleration, a more relaxed calibration, and seems to launch you towards infinity with a caress and not a slap in the face even though, numbers in hand, the sprint is practically the same.

Lotus Emeya (2024) road test

Lotus Emeya (2024)

All-wheel drive is provided by two motors positioned one per axle and everything is powered by a net 100 kWh battery pack, which on paper would ensure a range of around 298 miles on the R and around 342 miles on the less powerful versions, a figure that does not seem so far off the mark considering the excellent efficiency that the Emeya demonstrated during this test, most of which took place on the motorway. Thanks to its 800V architecture, it is able to take full advantage of ultra-fast charging, with the on-board charger accepting up to 22 kW AC and 400 kW DC for 20-80% in about 15 minutes.

The thing that amazed me most about this Emeya, however, is not so much the performance as the ride comfort as it gives the feeling of being on board the first class section of a high-speed train. Whether you're going 80, 90 or 100 mph makes no difference as you travel in total silence with the aerodynamic rustling and tyre rolling remaining distant and imperceivable thanks also to the audio system that emits sound waves contrary to those outside which totally isolates the passenger compartment. It works like magic, a bit like the noise-cancelling headphones that many of us use every day.

Lotus Emeya (2024) road test

Lotus Emeya (2024)

On a technical level, the sportier R brings with it a series of technical and mechanical solutions that make it sharper and more effective between bends than the quieter versions. Among these solutions, it can count on the standard rear axle steering that maximises agility at low speeds and stability when going faster, and on a system that electronically compensates for body roll when cornering and pitching when braking, limiting superfluous load transfers and exploiting only those that are 'necessary' to keep the car glued to the ground.

I was then convinced by the calibration of all the elements that go to define what is driving pleasure. The steering is exceptional, direct, progressive and with a steering wheel with excellent grip, and the brakes has an excellent bite with a short-stroke but at the same time a well-modulated pedal. The system is carboceramic on the R, steel on the basic Emeya and the S.

I had the chance to drive the Emeya for many miles, but this is still a first contact so for a more in-depth test stay tuned to Motor1.com as it will be coming in the next few months. Among the things I wasn't crazy about were the rear visibility, the resolution of the cameras, which is a bit grainy in less than optimal lighting conditions, and the digital side mirrors that you have to get used to but aren't as effective in manoeuvring as the standard ones.

Lotus Emeya (2024) road test

Lotus Emeya (2024)

Lotus Emeya: Prices

The new Lotus Emeya can already be ordered at dealerships with prices starting at £94,950 for the basic version, from £107,450 for the Emeya S which compared to its sibling adds 21" wheels, larger brakes and a range of interior features, and from £129,950 for the very powerful 918 PS Emeya R.

Gallery: Lotus Emeya (2024) road test