Posted by Iain Litchfield on 20th April, 2023 in Uncategorised
From the moment we first experienced the Emira with the UK press we have been thinking about developing a new suspension kit so the once we collected our Emira V6 First Edition from the factory we have been thinking about the way it should ride and look.
The 4hour journey back from Hethal was a great way to spend time in the car on a mix of roads and take notes on the areas of improvement.
The V6 Emira offers two options: Touring springs for a gentler ride or Track springs as part of the Track Pack. We opted for the latter and it quickly became clear that there was enormous potential to enhance both ride quality and handling. We already knew the standard Emira V6’s had a relatively high stance and the large gap around the wheel arches even with the Track Pack springs and Cup 2 tyres. All would need addressing with a suspension solution.
On the Motorway the Track springs would make the ride quite busy with the car becoming unsettled on high speed bumps but felt stable and assured on smooth stretches of tarmac. The cold wet weather didn’t help with driver confidence as good as the Michelin Cup 2 struggle to find grip until warm. They also like to tramline and seek out truck ruts with the can be disconcerting at first but you quickly get used to the direct and feel some steering. Some time on our Alignment machine will find a good compromise for regular road driving. It was clear that a more sophisticated damper setup would help improve traction and ride quality so we excited to get our Emira onto the ramp.
We had already arranged to get the car straight to our technical partners at Nitron Racing. Celebrated for their competitive achievements and their role as OE suppliers to major manufacturers (including Lotus for the high-performance Exige), Nitron have unrivalled expertise in the Lotus platform.
We took our demonstrator over to Nitron the next day and work began on meticulously measuring and testing the suspension components.
Much of the Emira’s chassis is shared with the previous Evora so we were quickly able to gain a starting point with some known internal valving and spring rate settings. We created several prototype suspension systems using their Nitron’s R1 2-way damper design with its adjustable spring platforms, and length-adjustable damper bodies to ensure maximum customisation and performance. Working with Curtis Woodman, Nitron’s Vehicle Applications Engineer, we were able to initially test the car on their preferred test route around their Oxfordshire HQ before heading back to their factory for changes.
After a few days of development with Nitron the car was driven back to our Tewkesbury base where our team of engineers could begin to fine tune the ride height, handling and corresponding geometry settings. Our local roads offer a mix of surfaces and driving into the Cotswolds offers some flowing national speed limit roads that snake through the countryside. The ideal environment to enjoy the Emira and its new suspension.
A further change in valving was applied to re-centre the settings we had decided on so they fall in the middle of the damper adjustment range. This will allow drivers to have room to soften or stiffen the ride to suit them and the environment the car is being used on – ideal for stiffening up for trackdays.
The Nitron’s improved damping and revised springs not only provides a supple ride (even with our stiffer springs) but it also allows the tyres to find more traction under acceleration especially in slippery conditions. When traveling at speed the chassis is able to absorb more of the imperfections in the road and without being deflecting offline so easily. The more advanced dampers allow for better control over the vehicles mass so the car enters and exits bends with more stability. This all leads to more driver confidence in chassis which ultimately leads to a more enjoyable and exhilarating driving experience.
If you would like to improve the chassis setup of your Emira please contact our Service team who will be happy to answer any questions.