The second model in Lotus’ electric offensive is finally here. The Emeya has been billed as a "Hyper GT," and as such isn’t quite a sedan, nor is it an SUV. It’s very big, very heavy, and very fast. 

It’ll also upset a lot of people. 

(Full Disclosure: Lotus provided travel and lodging to test the new Emeya.)

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

2025 Lotus Emeya

Base Price £94,950 ($120,117)
Drive Type Dual-Motor AWD
EV Range 330 miles est. (WLTP cycle)
Output Emeya/Emeya S: 603 BHP, 524LB-FT Emeya R: 905 BHP; 727LB-FT
Battery 102 kWh Lithium-Ion
Transmission One-Speed Electric Drive (Emeya, and Emeya S), Two-Speed Electric Drive (Emeya R)
Weight 5,490 - 5,710 LBS

Meet The New Lotus, Not The Same As The Old Lotus

First, a quick Lotus history lesson. For nearly 80 years, Lotus’ bread and butter has been small, light sports cars ideally suited either bombing around the countryside or setting times on race tracks. Synonymous with 1960s British motoring, the firm made its sports cars in the UK and sold them to people who valued engineering, weight reduction, handling and a ‘lil bit of style above all else. Its engineering arm has had a hand in more cars than you’ll ever know, and its racing effort is one of the most decorated in the world. The company adored lightness, and removing anything unnecessary in the pursuit of performance. 

Yet behind the scenes, Lotus has kind of always been teetering on the edge of financial disaster. It’s bounced around various ownership groups for decades. And for a good chunk of the early 21st century, it seemed on the verge of total collapse. Then in 2017, it was bought by China’s Geely Group, which promised to bring Lotus back to its former glory, and give it a seat on the world stage. 

Geely set to work creating a new sports car in Lotus’ traditional style: small, light (ish), quick, and gas-powered, albeit with a few creature comforts to try and entice people out of Porsches. That car is the Emira, and it’s very good; the Lotus hardcore (largely) liked it. 

They didn’t like what came next: a massive, expensive electric SUV called the Lotus Eletre. You could hear the outcry from space. It seemed to be the antithesis of everything Lotus, even if the gearhead faithful finally realize that you need to sell some Macans and Cayennes if you want your 911s. Yet that big, battery-powered SUV felt like a bridge too far.

Lotus Emeya Large

Lotus Emeya Large

That brings us to today, with the Emeya. The enthusiasts may warm up to this one a bit more since it’s not an SUV, but rather a grand touring sporty four-door. Yet it’s still chuffing massive. 

But is it any good? In a modern sense, absolutely. So much so that you’d probably be completely fine with the mid-level trim over the top-spec version. But it still means that we all have to get used to a very different Lotus from now on. 

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

A Speed And Charging Champ

The Emeya comes in three flavors: Emeya, Emeya S and Emeya R. They all come with a 102 kWh battery, and dual-motor all-wheel-drive. (No word yet on the possibility of a single-motor, rear-drive version.) The Emeya and Emeya S get 603 hp and 524 lb-ft of torque, which give them a 4.2 second 0-62 mph time and a top speed of 155 mph. Drive the base car carefully and you’ll get 379 miles from a charge on Europe’s WLTP testing cycle, while the S will get you 336. The top-spec R comes with 905 bhp and 727 lb-ft, cracking 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds and heading up to 159 mph. 

The Emeya rides on an upgraded version of Geely's SEA platform called the Electric Premium Architecture (EPA), so it has a good amount in common with various other cars from the conglomerate, like models from Zeekr, Polestar and others. Generally, those are great cars, so that helps explain how Lotus came out of almost nowhere with an EV that's got so much power and is so good at charging. 

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

The combined range for the R sits at, depending on which piece of literature you read, 279 miles or 300; we’ve reached out to Lotus for a comment and will update this article when we have a firm answer. No matter which spec you go for, the automaker claims you’ll get from 10-80% SOC on a 350kW charger in 18 minutes. If you can find a 400kW charger it’ll cut that number down to just 14 minutes. At the car’s launch in Europe, the S and R variants were available for me to drive.

Looks-wise, it shares a fair bit with its SUV sibling, but though they’re based on the same platform they have different wheelbases (Emeya’s is a touch longer) and different batteries. Its looks will be entirely subjective, but they're both angle and color-dependent. In yellow it looks glorious, but its mass, especially around the rear ¾ isn’t brilliantly hidden. From the front three-quarters it’s a looker, but in profile, from a distance, I feel it’s falling into the same trap as the Mercedes-Benz EQS: it looks a bit like a bar of soap. Albeit a marginally pointier one. 

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

The Eletre comes with a 112kWh power pack, while the Emeya’s smaller pack claims a comparable range. This is for two reasons: its shorter, GT-esque stature means its aero is far better, so less energy is needed to get it going further, and also the battery under the floor is thinner, and uses smartly positioned energy-dense prismatic cells to fit as much power in the available space as possible. 

No matter which Emeya you go for—base, S or R—there’s no aesthetic difference between them, inside or out. Whether this is a wise choice will be decided by the market, but I know if I’d bought the £129,950 (about $165,000, or $45,000 more than the base car) top-spec R I’d probably want to show it off somehow. Chasing people down the road shouting ‘“But it has rear wheel steer as standard! It’s an option on the S!!!!’” Isn’t dignified, but, well, people gonna people. 

Lotus Emeya Headlights

Lotus Emeya Headlights

Pedestrians are definitely going to notice the car because it’s utterly massive. Not GMC Hummer EV big, because to a European eye (hi!) that’s not massive, it’s just obscene, but at 16.9 ft long, 6.9 ft wide, and 4.7 ft tall it’s going to stand out in a crowd. In fact, threading it through tiny German villages felt, at times, deeply unpleasant; the worry that I’d either destroy a wheel or lose a carbon fiber wing mirror camera stalk… thing on the side of a bus was pretty great.

Having rear-wheel steering as standard on the R helped tighten turns, though I didn’t find its absence too troublesome with the S. It’s a big ‘ol thing, and you’ve got to wrangle it around. The price you pay for presence, I guess. 

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

On The Road

On a highway cruise, it’s fine when you’re up to speed. The car feels solid, and the ride is smooth on European tarmac. However, getting to speed was an odd affair. Of course, there’s more power in the Emeya than most will ever truly need, and in either the S or R you’ll easily breach 100 mph without any issue at all.

Both powerputs pin you back in your seat, and made me make some loud sweary noises. The R was more savage, and will happily sit at 130 mph on the Autobahn without issue, but when pushing the car felt oddly busy.

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

I found myself making small steering corrections as I pressed on, but once I’d settled on a velocity it sat fine. The same thing didn’t happen in the lower-powered S; that just flew along solid as a rock. Truly odd behavior. 

Playing with the Emeya’s various drive modes was fun. Tour is the standard, and keeps the car neatly perky and ready to fly as and when you see fit. Sport sharpens throttle response and sets it up for gentle hooliganism. Range softens throttle response, and evens out power delivery for greater efficiency. The Individual mode should be fairly self-evident. Track mode is a toy for the R, and primes it for buffoonery. 

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Away from gentle highway cruises, and clenching various parts of anatomy when medium-sized traffic comes the other way, a Lotus needs to be exciting on twisty roads. R, or S, its power is fun to deploy, and on wide, sweeping roads littered with vistas it’s a joy. The rush of torque, wind noise sweeping over the cabin at speed, and an overwhelming sense of ‘holy crap… this is ace!’ is a marvelous combination, and one to be savored. 

The reason for the savoring? Here’s the big ‘ol but that the Lotus hardcore have been waiting for. The Emeya is heavy. The R and its rear steer lumps in at 5,710 lbs, while the S sits at 5,490 lbs about 3.5 1996 Elises, give or take a lunch. 

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Lotus dynamics have been benchmarked by some of the best in the world in the past, but I fear the Emeya won’t be viewed the same. You need to brake early to scrub off inertia before you try and hulk it around hairpins, and tight bends. Rear wheel steering helps when you’re mid-corner, but it’s a far cry from lithe and nimble.

Of course, comparing it to an old Elise is madness; one’s a tiny sports car made of bonded aluminum, and the other’s a thwacking great EV made... mostly of steel and aluminum, but I’d still hoped to find a glimmer of what makes a Lotus so great in there. Incredibly slow in, using plenty of power out is the key here. Its steering isn’t as tactile as I’ve experienced in Porsche’s Taycan (a car this’ll be going up against), though it’s not numb by any means.

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Still, while you’re wafting on the smooth stuff finding some joy you can play with its 15.1-inch touch screen. The UI is slick, the way you can play with a 3D version of the car and interact with it to make the physical car do things like open windows, make the ‘intelligent panoramic glass roof’ (where fitted) change opacity, and mess with the excellent KEF sound system is smart. Though it can be a bit fiddly to jump from screen to screen to adjust things like the air conditioning and such.

The test cars came with cameras for wing mirrors, which are a mixed blessing. Its camera-on-stalks arrangement does look cool, but using screens instead of old-fashioned glass takes some getting used to, and you can’t use any sort of parallax to see more from them. That last bit is irritating. 

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

Early Verdict

Having played in both the S and the R over two days, I’m left wondering why people should spend the extra cash on the R. Its extra power is very nice and all, but in the real world it’s kinda needless. Rear-wheel steering is handy, but you can live without it unless you live inside a game of Tetris and need to make incredibly tight turns every single day. 

It’s unclear whether the Emeya is headed for the U.S. or not because, while it’s designed in England, it’s made in Wuhan, China. That would make it subject to those stiff new tariffs. The Eletre SUV, built in the same place, has a small handful of examples stateside already, but who knows what tomorrow holds for either model now? The point is, both cars will do battle against cars like the Porsche Taycan in many markets, including China as well, where powered-up electric sedans and GT cars are proliferating like crazy. 

Gallery: 2025 Lotus Emeya First Drive Review

That’s why Lotus’s EVs are its future, whether the faithful like it or not, and with each new car it adds to a pantheon of world-beating road and race cars. As an EV to live everyday life in it’s bang up to the job - quick, spacious, allegedly efficient (after being a fool in the R in the mountains and on the autobahn it managed 2.3 miles per kWh, giving roughly 235 miles of range from a full charge), full of fun tech, and with the "right" badge on the nose—and that’ll suit a lot of people with a lot of money down to the ground.

As a Lotus, it’s less convincing. It’s either a decent jumping-off point for further Lotus-esque innovation, or a completely different road that’ll leave the past behind. 

They’ll still sell a boatload of them, so what does that matter?

Alex Goy is a freelance journalist based in London. He likes British sports cars, tea, and the feeling of the mild peril that only owning a British sports car can bring to your day.

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