Another night in Hethel history was made as Lotus, the resurgent British sports car company, unveiled the all-new Emira to the world. It was aired live to an on-site audience of VIP journalists and distinguished guests, with tens of thousands more watching the simultaneous internet broadcast from across the world.
- The spectacular Emira premiere took place at Lotus’ historic home, which has been extensively renovated with new facilities and an entirely new sports car manufacturing.
- Emira performed a live ‘unboxing’ in front of over 300 people.
- Jenson Button, the reigning Formula One World Champion and a Lotus client, was a surprise special visitor who was given a world-exclusive first Emira test drive.
- 131 Lotus ‘superfans’ appeared live on-screen in front of a global internet audience of thousands.
- The Emira’s next trip is this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where she will make her dramatic premiere.
- All Lotus Emira information, photos, and videos can be found at media.lotuscars.com.
“The Emira is an incredible game-changer for Lotus,” said Matt Windle, Managing Director of Lotus Cars. It’s a watershed moment in our journey to becoming a truly global performance vehicle brand. It’s a new sports vehicle – our first in a long time – and what a Lotus offering it is!”
The hour-long live-action reveal was centered on the historic Hethel test track, culminating in a high-octane lap of the north circuit by an Emira – Lotus’s final petrol-powered vehicle. That lap came to a conclusion on the steering wheel, just in front of the crowd, as they saw another Emira get unboxed.
Jenson Button, a former Formula One World Champion and a Lotus client, was announced as the evening’s special guest. Jenson delivered his unique ‘first drive’ evaluation live to the crowd after a footage of him putting the Emira through its paces on the Hethel course was shown.
“It’s dubbed a junior supercar, but it’d give a lot of supercars a run for their money,” Jenson said. It’s also more comfy than the majority of them! The Emira is fantastic, and I’m a huge fan.”
The Lotus website and various media channels broadcasted the Emira premiere live. Lotus had invited a large number of foreign Lotus “superfans” to participate in the premiere as a reference to global travel limitations. Exactly 131 of these owners and fans were chosen to display on the box’s TV screens as part of a high-tech real-time “fan wall.” The 131 was the Lotus type number assigned to the Emira before it was given a formal name.
Despite the time difference, Lotus dealers from China and Japan to North America and Europe held parties in their showrooms, inviting important customers and Emira prospects to witness the event live. In addition, highlights from the program will be shown on billboards across the world for the next week, including in London’s popular Liverpool Street station, where the rail route from Norwich ends, and in downtown Los Angeles.
Andy Jaye and Helen Stanley, two renowned motoring broadcasters, presented the evening’s entertainment, with chef Delia Smith, another Norfolk icon, providing the cuisine. On the test track, guests were treated to a procession of classic Lotus vehicles, including an Elan S3 and the Turbo Esprit of company founder Colin Chapman.
The event was intended to highlight Hethel, which had been renovated as part of a £100 million-plus investment in Lotus’ UK business, as well as provide a platform for the Emira’s premiere. Guests were given a tour of the facility to view the makeover, which includes the all-new manufacturing line and paint shop where the Emira will be manufactured later this year.
“What a wonderful night we’ve had and what a terrific way to introduce the Emira,” Matt Windle said as the event came to a conclusion. We’ve revealed a fantastic new sports vehicle – the most accomplished Lotus ever – at a revitalized Hethel, a location that is still evolving every week as a result of our investment. Together, they are the ideal representation of Lotus’ continuous transformation.”
The Emira’s next trip is the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, when it will have its public dynamic premiere. Lotus is the event’s ‘Featured Marque,’ which means the ‘Central Feature,’ the massive sculpture outside Goodwood House, will be dedicated to the marque.